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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The World's Greatest Books, Volume V.
by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

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Title: The World's Greatest Books, Volume V.

Author: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

Release Date: February 8, 2004 [EBook #10993]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

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THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS

JOINT EDITORS

ARTHUR MEE Editor and Founder of the Book of Knowledge

J.A. HAMMERTON Editor of Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia

VOL. V FICTION

       *       *       *       *       *



    Acknowledgment

    Acknowledgment and thanks for permission
    to use "The Garden of Allah," by
    Mr. Robert Hichens, are herewith tendered
    to A.P. Watt & Son, London, England,
    for the author.

       *       *       *       *       *




_Table of Contents_


GRAY, MAXWELL
  Silence of Dean Maitland

GRIFFIN, GERALD
  The Collegians

HABBERTON, JOHN
  Helen's Babies

HALEVY, LUDOVIC
  Abbe Constantin

HAWTHORNE, NATHANIEL
  The Scarlet Letter
  House of the Seven Gables

HICHENS, ROBERT
  The Garden of Allah

HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL
  Elsie Venner

HUGHES, THOMAS
  Tom Brown's Schooldays
  Tom Brown at Oxford

HUGO, VICTOR
  Les Miserables
  Notre Dame de Paris
  The Toilers of the Sea
  The Man Who Laughs

INCHBALD, ELIZABETH
  A Simple Story

JAMES, G.P.R.
  Henry Masterton

JOHNSON, SAMUEL
  Rasselas

JOKAI, MAURICE
  Timar's Two Worlds

KERNAHAN, COULSON
  A Dead Man's Diary

KINGSLEY, CHARLES
  Alton Locke
  Hereward the Wake
  Hypatia
  Two Years Ago
  Water-Babies
  Westward Ho!

KINGSLEY, HENRY
  Geoffry Hamlyn
  Ravenshoe


A Complete Index of THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS will be found at the end
of Volume XX.

       *       *       *       *       *




MAXWELL GRAY


The Silence of Dean Maitland


     Mary Gleed Tuttiett, the gifted lady who writes under the
     pseudonym of "Maxwell Gray," was born at Newport, Isle of
     Wight. The daughter of Mr. F.B. Tuttiett, M.R.C.S., she began
     her literary career by contributing essays, poems, articles,
     and short stones to various periodicals. With the appearance
     of "The Silence of Dean Maitland," in 1886, Maxwell Gray's
     name was immediately and permanently established in the front
     rank of living novelists. The story and its problem,
     dramatically set forth, and with rare literary art, became one
     of the most discussed themes of the day. Since that time
     Maxwell Gray has produced a number of stories, among them
     being "The Reproach of Annesley" (1888), "The Last Sentence"
     (1893), "The House of Hidden Treasure" (1898), and "The Great
     Refusal" (1906), and also several volumes of poems. This
     little version of "The Silence of Dean Maitland" has been
     prepared by Miss Tuttiett herself.


_I.--Impending Tragedy_


The story opens on a grey October afternoon in the Isle of Wight, in the
'sixties. Alma Lee, the coachman's handsome young daughter, is toiling
up a steep hill overlooking Chalkburne, tired and laden with parcels
from the town. As she leans on a gate, Judkins, a fellow-servant of her
father's, drives up in a smart dog-cart, and offers her a lift home. She
refuses scornfully, to the young groom's mortification; he drives off,
hurt by her coquetry and prophesying that pride goes before a fall.

Then a sound of bells is heard--a waggon drawn by a fine bell-team
climbs the hill, and stops by Alma. She accepts the waggoner's offer of
a lift, and on reaching the gate of her home in the dusk, is distressed
by his insistence on a kiss in payment, when out of the tree-shadows
steps Cyril Maitland, the graceful and gifted son of the rector of
Malbourne, newly ordained deacon.

He rebukes the waggoner, rescues Alma, and escorts her across a field to
her father's cottage. There he is welcomed with respectful affection as
the rector's son and Alma's former playmate. Afterwards she lights him
to the gate, where a chance word of his evokes from her an innocent and
unconscious betrayal of her secret love, kindling such strong response
in him as he cannot conquer except by touching a letter in his breast-
pocket. This letter is from Marion Everard, to whom he has been a year
engaged.

He walks through the dark to Malbourne Rectory, where, by the fire, he
finds his invalid mother, his twin sister, Lilian, and two younger
children. Here he appears the idol of the hearth--genial, graceful,
gifted, beautiful, and warm-hearted. But he betrays ambition, sudden and
great haste to be married, and some selfishness. He walks to his lodging
in a neighbouring village, where trifling circumstances point to a
refined sensuousness, self-indulgence, and sophistry in his character,
leading to the neglect of serious duty. The shadow of impending tragedy
is hinted at from the first line of the book.

December in the following year. Cyril now an East End curate, and Henry
Everard, M.D., going by rail to Malbourne. Everard asleep; manly,
cheerful, intellectual, healthy in body and mind. Cyril awake; consumed
by unspeakable sorrow. Everard wakes; Cyril suddenly becomes gay in
response to his friend's high spirits. They chaff each other. Cyril
preaches to Everard, when Henry scolds him for fasting, and his laxity
of faith and practice. They pass Belminster, when Cyril betrays
unconscious ambition at Everard's jesting prophecy that he would preach
as bishop in the cathedral. Asceticism is defended by Cyril and
condemned by Everard. Cyril speaks of the discipline of sorrow, and
presses a spiked cross under his clothes into his side. Everard exalts
the discipline of joy. The friends have been privately educated
together, and were together at Cambridge. Henry admires Cyril's
character and mental brilliance; Cyril regards Henry with condescending
affection. Everard is silently in love with Lilian.

Cyril and Everard in the meantime have arrived at Malbourne Rectory.
Cyril and Marion, who have not met since a quarrel, are alone together.
She wonders that he makes so much of the little tiff. He talks of his
unworthiness, and makes her promise to cleave to him through good and
_evil_ report. At dinner, Everard asks for all the villagers, and
gathers that Alma Lee is disgraced. "Alma, little Alma, the child we
used to play with!" he cries afterwards to the men Maitlands. "Who is
the scoundrel?" Cyril grows impatient under the discussion that follows.
"After all, _she is not the first!_" he says at last, to Everard's
indignation.

Sunday. All classes meeting on the way to church, when Cyril preaches
for the first time to his friends and neighbours, who throng to hear
him. He preaches with passionate earnestness upon the beauty of
innocence and the agony of losing it. "That once lost," he says, "the
old careless joy of youth never returns."

The village parliament in the moonlit churchyard after service comment
with humour on the sermon, and on Cyril's eloquence, learning, and good
heart. Granfer, the village oracle, prophesies that the queen will make
a bishop of him. Ben Lee, talking with Judkins by the harness-room fire,
supposes that Cyril was thinking of Alma in his sermon. "He always had a
kind heart." But Judkins speaks of his suspicions of Everard as Alma's
betrayer, alludes to his frequent visits to Mrs.


Lee during her illness some months ago, and his constant meeting with
Alma. Lee is convinced of Everard's guilt. "I'll kill him!" he cries
furiously.


_II.--Sin-Engendered Sin_


It is a lovely winter's day, and Cyril, Lilian, and Everard are walking
through the woods at the back of Lee's cottage. Cyril puts something
into a hollow tree, and intimates a chaffinch's call. Another bird
replies. Cyril walks on to Oldport, leaving Everard and Lilian, between
whom there follows a warm love scene and betrothal. During this episode
Mrs. Lee, Alma's stepmother, tells her husband that Alma is gone to meet
her unknown lover in the wood at the signal of a chaffinch's call. Lee
follows, and finds Alma there _alone_. He picks up a paper she had torn
and dropped; it contains an assignation for that evening at dusk. Before
luncheon Everard changes the grey suit he was wearing, and had stained
in a muddy ditch. He goes to a lonely cottage on the downs in the
afternoon; returning in the evening, he gets a black eye while romping
with little Winnie Maitland. After bathing the eye, he sponges the
stained suit, and is surprised to find blood on it. Cyril has been
absent in Oldport all day, and on his return goes to bed with a
headache, speaking to nobody. A man in Henry's grey suit passes through
the hall at dusk, followed by the cat, who never runs after anyone but
Lilian and Cyril.

That evening, New Year's eve, there is a gay party of rustics at the
wheelwright's house. In the midst of Granfer's best story in rushes
Grove, the waggoner, crying that Ben Lee had just been found murdered in
the wood. The same night Alma gives birth to a son.

Next day, Cyril, in great mental anguish, goes to Admiral Everard's
house, and incidentally puts to a brother clergyman there a case of
conscience: Should a man who has acted unwisely, and is guilty of
unintentional homicide, imperil a useful and brilliant career by
confession? Not if he had such great gifts and opportunities of doing
good as Cyril has, he is told. By this pronouncement and a love scene
with Marion, Cyril is much comforted.

In the meantime, Ben Lee's death is by many being imputed to Everard,
who is quite unconscious of these suspicions. He is much surprised at
the appearance of policemen at the rectory that afternoon, and still
more so at being arrested on the charge of murdering Lee.

After due examination, Everard is committed for trial on the charge of
murder. His best witness, Granfer, who had seen and spoken with him in
the village at the moment of the alleged murder, greatly discredited his
evidence by his circumlocution and stupidity, purposely affected to set
the court in a roar. He admitted that Everard gave him money and
tobacco. Judkins swore that at three o'clock Lee told him Everard had
asked Alma to meet him at dusk that evening in the wood, and that
he--Lee--meant to follow Everard there and exact reparation from him;
that Alma and Everard were known to be together in the wood on the
morning of Lee's death (when Everard was with Lilian), and that he
himself had seen them meet often clandestinely in the spring during Mrs.
Lee's illness, when letters, books, and flowers had passed between them.
On the eve of Lee's death he had seen Everard go into the copse at dusk
carrying a heavy stick.

Ingram Swaynestone, Grove, the waggoner, and Stevens, the Sexton, all
saw Everard going on the upland path to Swaynestone. But the blacksmith
swore to seeing him in the village street at the same hour. A keeper saw
him going to the copse at the same time that a shepherd met him on the
down going in another direction. At five o'clock two rectory maids saw
Everard run in by the back door and upstairs, followed by the cat; he
made no reply when Miss Maitland spoke to him. An hour later, Everard
asked the cook for raw meat for a black eye, which he said he got by
running against a tree in the dark. Blood was found in a basin in his
room, and on the grey suit, which was much stained and torn, as if by a
struggle. A handkerchief of Everard's was found in the wood, also a
stick he had been seen with in the morning.

Everard's evidence at the inquest was that he left Malbourne Rectory
about four, wearing a black coat, met the blacksmith in the village, and
the shepherd on the down, and finding the cottage on the down empty,
returned, seeing no one till he met Granfer at Malbourne Cross, and
reached the rectory at six, where a romp with Winnie Maitland gave him
the black eye, that he promised her not to speak about. He could not
account for the blood found on his clothes.

Cyril is much shocked by the verdict and committal of Everard, but is
sure that he will be cleared. "He must be cleared," he says, "_at any
cost_." Pending the assize trial, he baptises three unknown babes in
Malbourne Church. When asking the name of one of the children in his
arms, he is told "Benjamin Lee." His evident deep emotion at this evokes
sympathy from all present. During the trial at Belminster he has a great
spiritual conflict in the cathedral while a fugue of Bach's is played on
the organ, suggesting a combat between the powers of evil and good. But
he feels that he _cannot_ renounce his brilliant prospects. Coming out,
he hears that Alma has declared Everard is the man who was with her
father when he met his death in the struggle she heard while outside the
copse.

Cyril at once rushes to the court, which he had only left for an hour,
just in time to hear the verdict, "Manslaughter."

"Stop!" he cries. "I have evidence--the prisoner is innocent!"

The judge, not understanding what he says, orders his removal; his
friends, thinking him distracted, persuade him to be quiet while the
utmost sentence--twenty years--is given. On hearing this, Cyril, with a
loud cry, falls senseless. He remains in delirium many weeks. A pathetic
farewell between Henry and Lilian, who is the only believer in his
innocence, and who renews her promise to him, closes the first part.

The tragedy, faintly foreshadowed from the first line, and gradually
developed from Cyril's self-righteousness and irrepressible joy in
Alma's unguarded betrayal of unconscious passion, has darkened the whole
story. Sin has engendered sin. Cyril's noble purpose to devote himself
entirely to his high calling, and be worthy of it, has become pitiless
ambition.

His self-respect, spiritual pride and egoism; his ready tact, social
charm, and power of psychological analysis, subtle sophistry and
self-deception; his warmest affection, disguised self-love; his finest
qualities perverted lead to his lowest fall.

His weak and belated attempt to right Alma's wrong has killed her
father. Alma's desecrated love has turned to fierce idolatry, laying
waste Lilian's happiness, and working Henry's complete ruin. Cyril's
cowardice has delayed clearing his friend till it is too late to save
him.

    Not poppy, not mandragora,
    Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world

will ever medicine again to him that sweet sleep he had before his
guilt.


_III.--The Darkness of a Prison_


A summer Sunday two years later. Alma and her child in a cornfield,
listening to bells ringing for Cyril's homecoming with his bride. All
the softness and youth gone from Alma's tragic face, and the last gleams
of penitence from her heart, since her perjury. Jealousy is prompting
her to go and tell Marion all. But Judkins comes and interrupts these
wild thoughts. He offers marriage, rehabilitation, and a home in
America. She hesitates. She is shunned by all, and can get no work in
Malbourne, but has not been destitute; money has found its way
mysteriously to her cottage. So for the child's sake she accepts.

Tea on the rectory lawn. Lilian is thinking of the prisoner, Lennie
wondering aloud, "How does Alma _like_ having to go to hell for lying
about Henry?" Cyril is terribly agitated at this. He has scarcely yet
recovered from his long mental illness after Henry's sentence. Marion is
_not happy_--she may never allude to Henry. The slightest reference to
him makes Cyril ill. Later, in the moonlight, Ingram Swaynestone asks
Lilian, whom he has always loved, to marry him. He cannot believe that
she is secretly engaged to Henry. She points towards Henry's prison. "I
am all that man has on earth, and I love him!" she says.

Nine years later. Convicts pulling down the old walls of Portsmouth. An
officer's funeral passes by. No. 62--Henry--overhears people speaking of
the manner of the officer's death, and his name, Major Everard. Tears
fall on the convict's hands as he works. No. 62's father is port
admiral. Alma's perjury in court had revealed all to Henry, and reduced
him to apathetic despair. "There is no God--no good anywhere!" he cried.
But in time Lilian's periodic letters gave him heart and hope, and he
had accepted his fate bravely, trying to lift up and cheer his fellow-
prisoners. In the darkness and uproar of a thunderstorm he escapes from
the guarded works. His adventures, during which he comes accidentally
and unrecognized in contact with his brother's widow, his sister, and
her children, who prattle of family matters in his hearing, and, after a
few weeks' wandering, by his being recaptured while lying on the
roadside unconscious from hunger and exhaustion. This part of the story
concludes with the reception of this news by Lilian and Cyril, whose
unintentional neglect has caused the miscarriage of a letter that would
have enabled Henry to escape.


_IV.--"I Will Confess my Wickedness"_


Everard is free, and, wearing the grey suit of a discharged prisoner, is
travelling from Dartmoor to London by train. Marion, his brother,
Leslie, Mrs. Maitland, and the admiral are all dead. Everything is
strange and changed to him. Liberty is sweet and bitter. He is
prematurely aged and broken down; the great future that had been before
him is now for ever impossible. His still undeveloped scientific
theories and discoveries have been anticipated by others. He feels the
prison taint upon him; he will not see Lilian until it is removed, and
he has become accustomed to the bewilderment of freedom.

After a few days' pause he starts from London for Malbourne, stopping at
Belminster, through which he had made his last free journey with Cyril,
when he told him that "an ascetic is a rake turned monk." Passing the
gaol in which he had suffered so much, he goes to the cathedral. He asks
who is now Dean of Belminster.

The verger is surprised. "Where have you been, sir, not to have heard of
the celebrated Dean Maitland?" The great dean! The books he has written,
the things he has done! All the world knows Dean Maitland, the greatest
preacher in the Church of England.

The deanery interior. Cyril, charming and adored as ever, is considering
whether he shall accept the historic bishopric of Warham. A strange
youth from America is announced, and asks the dean to give him a
university education--"because I am your son." "Since when," returns the
dean tranquilly, "have you been suffering from this distressing
illusion?" The youth bears a letter from Alma. She is dying in
Belminster, and implores him to come to her. She cannot die, she writes,
till she has cleared Everard. After this terrible scene Cyril is in
agony, and nearly commits suicide. "But one sin in a life so spotless!"
he moans. The same evening Everard, overwhelmed with accounts of Cyril's
good deeds and spiritual counsels, and examining with mingled awe and
pity the numerous books he has written, goes to hear one of the Anglican
Chrysostom's lectures to working men in the cathedral.

The music heard by Cyril during his mental conflict there years before
is being played. Cyril thinks Lee's death and Henry's suffering the work
of Fate, since in wearing Everard's clothes he had no thought of
impersonating him, but only of avoiding the publicity of clerical dress;
nor had he dreamed of meeting or of struggling with Ben Lee. Meaning to
go to Alma, who is already dead, later on that night, Cyril preaches
upon the sin of Judas, with great power and passion. "I charge you, my
brothers, beware of _self-deception!_" Everard pities him; he feels that
his own eighteen years' sufferings were nothing in comparison with
Cyril's secret tortures. Suddenly the preacher stops with a low cry of
agony. He has caught Everard's eye. He wishes the cathedral would fall
and crush him. "I am not well," he says, leaving the pulpit. Everard
writes him a letter that night, saying he has long known and forgiven
all; he asks Cyril to use his own secret repentance and unspoken agony
for the spiritual help of others.

The dean receives and reads the letter at breakfast next morning. He
then shuts himself alone in his study for several hours. Then he takes
leave of his blind son and only surviving daughter--all the other
children died in infancy--and sends them away to a relative. Everard,
after waiting vainly for Cyril's answer, goes to Malbourne. He travels
in the same carriage as the judge who had sentenced him, and tells him
that he was innocent, but is unable to clear himself. Nobody recognises
him at Malbourne. He hears his case discussed at the village inn, where
he stops an hour, too much agitated to go to the rectory. "He never done
it," is the general verdict.

Then follows the pathetic meeting of Henry and Lilian. Mr. Maitland had
gradually ceased to believe in his guilt. "But I could never forgive the
man who let you suffer in his stead," he says. Lilian shudders at this.
Cyril is discussed. "Our dear Chrysostom; our golden-mouth!"

Next day, Sunday, old friends welcome Everard. He has a great reception
from the villagers. Lilian presses him to say who was the guilty man.
Mark Antony, the cat, is still alive. "Only once did Mark make a
mistake," she says, "when he ran after _that grey figure in the dusk_.
Else he never ran after any but myself and Cyril. Henry, you _know_ who
killed Ben Lee. Tell me," she sobs, "oh, tell me it was not _he!_" Henry
cannot tell her. Lilian is deeply distressed. "His burden was heavier
than mine," Henry says. He comforts her.

The same day, at morning prayer, Cyril enters the cathedral. The organ
is playing Mendelssohn's "O Lord, have mercy upon me!" The cathedral is
packed with people of all degrees, known and unknown, friends and
strangers. The thought that all these will soon know his shame turns
Cyril sick. The faces of all those he has injured rise and reproach him.
He goes through another great spiritual conflict, but his soul emerges
at last, stripped of all pretence, in the awful presence of his Maker,
shuddering with the shame of its uncovered sin, and alone. He nerves
himself to an effort beyond his strength, as he stands in the pulpit
before the innumerable gaze of the vast congregation, by holding Henry's
letter as a talisman in his hand. Thus he preaches his last and greatest
sermon. "I will confess my wickedness, and be sorry for my sin." This he
does literally. He tells the whole story in detail, but without names,
sometimes unable to go on for agony and shame, sometimes with tears
streaming from his eyes. He tells it there that all may take warning
from him. He intends to give himself up to justice as soon as possible.
He does not spare himself. Since his first sin, he says, "I have not had
one happy hour." He never repented, though always consumed with remorse,
until his friend forgave him. "That broke my stony heart," he says. The
congregation are deeply moved and horrified. Many think he is under a
delusion caused by sorrow for his friend, and mental strain. Having
finished in the usual way, he sat down in the pulpit, and neither spoke
nor moved again. There he was found later, dead.

Next day Henry, who deeply moved, has watched by the dead body of the
dean in his library, has to break the news of Cyril's death to Mr.
Maitland, in the very room in which Mr. Maitland had accused him of
Cyril's crime and given him up to the police. The adoring father's mind
gives way under the blow, his memory is permanently confused, and he
lives tranquilly on for some years in the belief that Cyril has only
gone away for a few days.

The story ends with a family scene by Lake Leman, where Henry and
Lilian, happily married, are living for a time with Mr. Maitland and
Cyril's children, whom Henry has kept from knowing their father's guilt.

       *       *       *       *       *




GERALD GRIFFIN


The Collegians


     Gerald Griffin, born at Limerick on December 12, 1803, was one
     of the group of clever Irishmen who, in imitation of Tom
     Moore, sought literary fame in London in the first quarter of
     the nineteenth century. At the age of twenty he was writing
     tales of Munster life. In 1829 he became popular through the
     tale of "The Collegians," here epitomised--a tale that has
     held the stage to the present day under the title of "The
     Colleen Bawn." Nine years later, Griffin renounced literature,
     returned to Ireland, and entered the Church, and on June 12,
     1840, died in a monastery at Cork. A tragedy written in his
     early days was produced successfully by Macready after
     Griffin's death. His fame, however, depends on his pictures of
     Irish life, and they are concentrated best in the literary
     accessories of the present melodrama.


_I.--A Secret Wife_


At a pleasure garden on a hill near Limerick, Eily O'Connor, the
beautiful daughter of Mihil O'Connor, the rope-maker, first met Hardress
Cregan, a young gentleman fresh from college; and on the same night, as
she and her father were returning homeward, they were attacked by a
rabble of men and boys, and rescued by the stranger and his hunchbacked
companion, Danny Mann. A few days afterwards Danny Mann visited the
rope-walk, and had a long conversation with Eily, and from that time the
girl's character seemed to have undergone a change. Her recreations and
her attire became gayer; but her cheerfulness of mind was gone. Her
lover, Myles Murphy, a good-natured farmer from Killarney, gained over
her father to his interests, and the old man pressed her either to give
consent to the match or a good reason for her refusal. After a
distressing altercation, Eily left the house without a word of farewell.

She had married Hardress Cregan secretly, and the priest had died
immediately after the ceremony. The first time she was seen, but not
recognised, in her boyish husband's company was by the Dalys, to which
family his fellow-collegian and intimate friend, Kyrle Daly, belonged. A
boat passed along the river before their house containing a hooded girl,
the hunchback, and Hardress Cregan himself. After they had disappeared,
Kyrle Daly rode to pay court to Anne Chute, Hardress's cousin, and, to
his great distress, learned that she could never be his wife although
she had no other engagement. From her manner he realised that he had a
rival, and the knowledge plunged him into the deepest despair. After her
refusal he went to spend the night at one of his father's dairy farms, a
few miles down the river. Whilst supper was being prepared, word came
that Hardress's boat was being swamped, with every soul aboard.

The collegian, however, brought the boat safely to the shore, and
procured a room for his wife in the dairy-woman's cottage, passing her
off as a relative of Danny Mann's. She retired at once and Hardress and
Kyrle sat talking together of Anne Chute. The sight of his friend's
sufferings won Hardress's sympathies. He protested his disbelief in the
idea of another attachment, and recommended perseverance.

"Trust everything to me," he said. "For your sake I will take some pains
to become better known to this extraordinary girl, and you may depend on
it you shall not suffer in my good report."

When the household was asleep, Hardress went to his wife's room, and
found her troubled because of the strangeness of their circumstances.

"I was thinking," she said, "what a heart-break it would be to my father
if anyone put it into his head that the case was worse than it is. No
more would be wanting, but just a little word on a scrap of paper, to
let him know that he needn't be uneasy, and he'd know all in time."

The suggestion appeared to jar against the young husband's inclinations.
He replied that if she wished he would return with her to her home, and
declare the marriage.

"If you are determined on certainly destroying our happiness," he
continued, "your will shall be dearer to me than fortune or friends. If
you have a father to feel for you, you will not forget, my love, that I
have a mother whom I love as tenderly, and whose feelings deserve some
consideration."

He took her hand and pressed it in a soothing manner.

"Come, dry those sweet eyes, while I tell you shortly what my plans
shall be," he said.

"You have heard me speak of Danny Mann's sister, who lives on the side
of the Purple Mountain, in the Gap of Dunlough? I have had two neat
rooms fitted up for you in her cottage, and you can have books to read,
and a little garden to amuse you, and a Kerry pony to ride over the
mountains. In the meantimes I will steal a visit now and then to my
mother, who spends the autumn in the neighbourhood. I will gradually let
her into my secret, and obtain her forgiveness. I am certain she will
not withhold it. I shall then present you to her. She will commend your
modesty and gentleness; we will send for your father, and then where is
the tongue that shall venture to wag against the fame of Eily Cregan!"

The young man left her, a little chagrined at her apparent slowness in
appreciating his noble condescension. In his boyhood he had entertained
a passion for his cousin, Anne Chute; but after the long separation of
school and college, he had imagined that his early love was completely
forgotten. The feeling with which he regarded her now was rather of
resentment than indifference, and it had been with a secret creeping of
the heart that he had witnessed what he thought was the successful
progress of Kyrle Daly's attachment. It was under those circumstances
that he formed his present hasty union with Eily. His love for her was
deep, sincere, and tender. Her entire and unbounded confidence, her
extreme beauty, her simplicity and timid deference made a soothing
compensation to his heart for the coldness of the haughty, though
superior beauty, whose inconstancy had raised his indignation.

In the morning, accompanied by Eily and Danny Mann, he sailed for
Ballybunion, where they rested in a cavern while the hunchback sought an
eligible lodging for the night. During his absence Hardress told Eily
that Danny Mann was his foster-brother, and that he himself had been the
cause of the poor fellow's deformity.

"When we were children he was my constant companion," he said.
"Familiarity produced a feeling of equality, on which he presumed so far
as to offer rudeness to a little relative of mine, a Miss Chute, who was
on a visit to my mother. She complained to me, and my vengeance was
summary. I seized him by the collar, and hurled him with desperate force
to the bottom of a flight of stairs. An injury was done to his spine."

But Danny Mann had shown naught but good nature and kindly feeling ever
since. His attachment had become the attachment of a zealot. Hardress
was sometimes alarmed at the profane importance he attached to his
master's wishes; he seemed to care but little what laws he might
transgress when the gratification of Hardress's inclination was in
question.


_II.--Tempted_


A week afterwards Hardress visited his parents at their Killarney
residence, to find that his mother, with her niece, Anne Chute, had gone
to a grand ball in the neighbourhood. His father was spending the night
with his boon fellows, and a favourite old huntsman lay dying in a room
near by. This retainer told his young master that Anne Chute loved him
well, and that she deserved a better fortune than to love without
return. Hardress went to bed, and was awakened by his mother upon her
return. She reproved him for his long absence, and told him of the
sensation his beautiful cousin was making in society. In the morning he
met Anne with some consciousness and distress. A womanly reserve and
delicacy made the girl unwilling to affect an intimacy that might not be
graciously acknowledged. She treated him coldly, and began to read some
silly novel of the day.

"Ah, Eily, my own, own Eily!" he murmured to himself. "You are worth
this fine lady a hundred times over!"

His mother appeared; her raillery entrapped both him and Anne in a scene
of coquetry. No longer embarrassed by the feeling of strangeness and
apprehension which had depressed her spirits on their first meeting
after his return from college, Anne now assumed ease and liveliness of
manner. Every hour he spent in her society removed from his mind the
prejudice he had conceived against her, and supplied its place with a
feeling of strong kindness. When he left the merry circle to return to
Eily, blank regret fell suddenly upon his heart. But the sorrow which
Anne manifested at his departure, and the cordial pleasure with which
she heard of his intention to return soon, inspired him with the
strangest happiness. The next time he thought of Eily and his cousin,
the conjunction was less favourable to the former.

"My poor little love!" he thought. "How much she has to learn before she
can assume, with comfort to herself, the place for which I have designed
her!"

At the cottage Eily received him with rapture and affection, and every
other feeling was banished from his mind. But in the course of the
evening she remarked that he was more silent and abstracted than she had
ever seen him, and that he more frequently spoke in connection of some
little breach of etiquette, or inelegance of manner, than in those terms
of eloquent praise and fondness which he was accustomed to lavish upon
her. The next day he returned to his mother's house leaving her in
tears.

That night Mrs. Cregan gave a ball, at which he was one of the gayest
revellers. Soon afterwards his mother also told him that Anne was in
love, and with none other than himself. In great agitation he replied
that he had already pledged himself to another. She insisted that any
other engagement must be broken, since if there was to be a victim it
should not be Anne. The lady's violent maternal affection overruled him,
and in spite of the call of honour he dared not tell her that he was
already married.

During the ensuing weeks Eily perceived a rapid and fearful change in
his temper and appearance. His visits were fewer and shorter, and his
manner became extraordinarily restrained and conscious.

But when she told him that the loneliness was troubling her, he accused
her of jealousy.

"If I was jealous, and with reason," said Eily. smiling seriously,
"nobody would ever know it; for I wouldn't say a word, only stretch upon
my bed and die. I wouldn't be long in his way, I'll engage."

Hardress warned her never to inquire into his secrets, nor to effect an
influence which he would not admit. He bade her avoid suffering the
slightest suspicion to appear, since when suspicions are afloat men find
the temptation to furnish them with a cause almost irresistible. Eily
protested that she was joking, and his uneasy conscience threw him into
a paroxysm of fury.

"Curse on you!" he cried. "Curse on your beauty, curse on my own folly,
for I have been undone by both! I hate you! Take the truth; I'll not be
poisoned with it! I am sick of you; you have disgusted me! I will ease
my heart by telling you the whole. If I seek the society of other women,
it is because I find not among them your meanness and vulgarity!"

"Oh, Hardress," shrieked the affrighted girl, "you are not in earnest
now?"

"I do _not_ joke!" he exclaimed, with a hoarse vehemence.

"Oh, my dear Hardress, listen to me! Hear your poor Eily for one moment!
Oh, my poor father! Forgive me, Hardress. I left my home and all for
you. Oh, do not cast me off! I will do anything to please you. I will
never open my lips again. Only say you do not mean all that."

He tore himself away, leaving Eily unconscious on the ground. On the
summit of the Purple Mountain, which was all surrounded by mist, he met
Danny Mann, and confided to him that his love of Eily had turned to
hatred, asking his advice concerning what must be done.

"Sorrow trouble would I even give myself about her," said Danny, "only
send her home packin' to her father!"

"Should I send Eily home to earn for myself the reputation of a
faithless villain!" said Hardress.

"Why, then I'll tell you what I'd do," said Danny, nodding his head.
"Pay her passage out to Quaybec, an' put her aboard of a three-master.
Do by her as you'd do to dat glove you have on your hand. Make it come
off as well as it comes on, an' if it fits too tight, take the knife to
it. Only give me the word, an' I'll engage Eily O'Connor will never
trouble you any more. Don't ax me any questions; only, if you are
agreeable, take off that glove an' give it to me for a token. Lave the
rest to Danny."

Hardress gazed upon the face of the hunchback with an expression of
gaping terror, as if he stood in the presence of the Arch Tempter
himself. Then he caught him by the throat, and shook him with appalling
violence.

"If you ever dare again to utter a word or meditate a thought of evil
against that unhappy creature," he cried, "I will tear you limb from
limb between my hands!"


_III.--"Found Drowned"_


Hardress had left Eily almost unprovided with funds. After a few weeks
she was obliged to write for pecuniary assistance. The letter was
unheeded. She borrowed a pony, and went to ask advice from her father's
brother, Father O'Connor, of Castle Island. The priest received her very
coldly, but became deeply moved upon hearing that she was legally
married. She begged him to inform her father that she hoped soon to ask
his pardon for all the sorrow she had caused. He gave her all the money
he had, and she returned to the cottage.

Danny Mann delivered Eily's letter, and sat drinking with his master in
Mrs. Cregan's drawing-room. Anne Chute entered, and finding the man she
loved in an intoxicated condition she withdrew in sorrow and disgust.

He asked the girl's forgiveness when soberness returned, and she told
him that she was greatly distressed because of his changed manner. For a
long time past there had been a distressing series of misconceptions on
her part, and of inconsistencies on his. She could not explain how
deeply troubled she felt.

The intoxication of passion overcame Hardress, and he told her that the
key to everything was that he loved her. She forgave him, and he was
about to send a reassuring line to his mother, when he found in his
hands a portion of Eily's letter, in which she begged him to let her go
back to her father. He turned white with fear, but Mrs. Cregan entered,
and her strong will overbore his scruples. He declared himself ready to
marry his beautiful cousin. Then he sought Danny Mann, and reminded him
of his suggestion about hiring a passage for Eily in a North American
vessel.

"You bade me draw my glove from off my hand, and give it for a warrant,"
he said, plucking off the glove slowly finger by finger. "My mind is
altered. I married too young; I didn't know my own mind. I am burning
with this thralldom. Here is my glove."

Danny took it, whilst they exchanged a look of cold and fatal
intelligence. Hardress gave him a purse, and repeated that Eily must not
stay in Ireland, that three thousand miles of roaring ocean were a
security for silence. Not a hair of her head must be hurt, but he would
never see her more. Then he wrote on the back of Eily's letter
instructions for her to put herself under the bearer's care, and he
would restore her to her father. She determined to obey at once, and
without a murmur, and at nightfall left the cottage in Danny's company.
Two hours afterwards Hardress himself arrived in a fit of compunction.
On learning that they had departed, he swore to himself that if this his
servant exceeded his views, he would tear his flesh from his bones, and
gibbet him as a miscreant and a ruffian.

The night grew wild and stormy; a thunderstorm broke over the hill.
Hardress slumbered in his chair, crying out, "My glove, my glove! You
used it against my meaning! I meant but banishment. We shall be hanged
for this!"

He awoke from a fearsome nightmare, and, unable to remain longer in the
cottage, ran home with the speed of one distracted. There he rebuked his
mother wildly, telling her that she had forced him into madness, and
that he was free to execute her will--to marry or hang, whichever she
pleased. His love of Anne now became entirely dormant, and he was able
to estimate the greatness of his guilt without even the suggestion of a
palliative. Anne returned to Castle Chute, and preparations were soon
being made for the wedding. Hardress and his mother went to stay there,
and Kyrle Daly heard for the first time that he had won the girl's love,
instead of pleading his fellow-collegian's cause as he had promised. The
anger he felt was diverted by a family tragedy--the death of his mother.
At her wake Hardress appeared, and found himself face to face with old
Mihil O'Connor, his father-in-law. The ropemaker, who had only a faint
recollection of having met him before, told him of his heart-break
because of Eily's disappearance, and misread his agitation for sympathy.

Some while afterwards the gentry of the neighbourhood hunted the fox,
and the dogs found on the bank of the Shannon a body covered with a
large blue mantle that was drenched with wet and mire. A pair of small
feet in Spanish leather shoes appearing from below the end of the
garment showed that the body was that of a female, whilst a mass of
long, fair hair which escaped from the hood proved that death had found
the victim untimely in her youth.


_IV.--Exiled for Life_


Hardress confided the mournful story to his mother, assuring her that he
was Eily's murderer. After the first extreme agitation, the lady
declared that he overrated the measure of his guilt. She reproached him
for his lack of confidence, after all the love she had showered upon
him. He clenched his hand, and she affected to fear that he intended to
strike her. At her outcry of fear he sank to her feet, lowering his
forehead to the very dust.

"There is one way left for reparation," he said. "I will give myself up.
There is peace and comfort in the thought."

He was interrupted by the entrance of Anne. Mrs. Cregan accounted for
her son's excitement by saying that he was ill. Later in the evening
they heard that the coroner had not even found anyone to identify the
body, and that the jury had returned a verdict of "Found Drowned." Some
days afterwards Hardress went shooting to the creek, and, believing that
he had killed a serving-man, fled panic-stricken back to the house. The
fellow, however, was unhurt, but his cries attracted the attention of a
stranger who had lain concealed under a bank. A party of soldiers
appeared now and fired at this unknown man, and soon he staggered and
was taken prisoner.

Mrs. Cregan came to Hardress's room with fearful tidings. Eily's dress
had been recognised, and suspicion had fallen upon Danny Mann. Hardress
told her that his former servant had left the country, but soon the
soldiers arrived at the house with the hunchback in charge. Late that
night Hardress left his bed, and entered the stable where Danny was
confined. The hunchback advanced towards him slowly, his hands wreathed
together, his jaw dropped, and his eyes filled with tears. He offered
Hardress the glove.

"I had my token surely for what I done," he said. "'Here is your
warrant,' you says. Worn't them your words?"

"But not for death," replied Hardress. "I did not say for death."

"I own you didn't," said Danny Mann. "I felt for you, an' I wouldn't
wait for you to say it. Your eye looked murder; as sure as that moon is
shinin', so sure the sign of death was on your face that time, whatever
way your words went."

Hardress gave him money, and helped him to escape, bidding him leave the
country. "If ever we should meet again on Irish soil," he said, "it must
be the death of either."

The exertions for Danny Mann's recapture proved unavailing, and in a few
weeks the affair had begun to grow unfamiliar to the tongues and
recollections of the people. Hardress's depression reached an unbearable
degree, and Anne at last grew seriously uneasy. He assured her that if
she knew all she would pity and not blame. Then, one day when they were
walking together they came upon some countryfolk dancing in the road,
and amongst them Hardress recognised the hunchback. He caught him by the
throat and flung him violently against the wall.

Danny Mann was taken into custody again, and, before the magistrate,
told of Hardress's complicity in the crime. He declared that he had
always loved his master, but that from the moment of the assault a
change had come over his love.

"He had his revenge, an' I'll have mine," he said. "He doesn't feel for
me, an' I won't feel for him. Write down Danny Mann for the murderer of
Eily, an' write down Hardress Cregan for his adviser." He produced the
certificate of Eily's marriage. "I took it out of her bosom after--" He
shuddered with such violence that the door trembled. "She kep' her hand
in her bosom upon that paper to the last gasp, as if she thought it was
to rob her of that I wanted."

The magistrate, accompanied by a guard, rode to Castle Chute. It was the
wedding evening, and the house was filled with gay company. As all sat
at table together, Hardress heard a low voice whisper in his ear,
"Arise, and fly for your life!" The wineglass fell from his hand, and he
became filled with terror. Once again he heard the voice, "Arise, I tell
you! The army is abroad, and your life is in danger!"

As he was preparing to escape, his mother entered his presence.

"The doors are all defended!" she cried. "There is a soldier set on
every entrance! You are trapped and caught! The window--come this way,
quick--quick!"

She drew him passively into her own bed-chamber; some minutes later the
soldiers forced their way forward, and found him concealed in an inner
place. His mother sank at his feet, and cried out that the crime was
hers, since she had been the author of his first temptation, the
stumbling-block between him and repentance.

"I have tied the cord upon your throat!" she shrieked. "I have been your
fellest foe! You drank in pride with my milk, and passion under my
indulgence!"

Hardress took the wretched woman in his arms and kissed her forehead.

"I will pray for you at the moment of my death, as you will pray for
me," he said. Then he surrendered himself to the soldiers, and was taken
away. At the trial the mercy of the executive power was extended to his
life, and he was sentenced to perpetual exile. As the convict ship which
was to bear him from home waited in the river, he was brought from his
gaol and left for a short time on the quay, where he heard that Eily's
father had died, after praying for and forgiving his enemies. The boat
arrived to convey him to the ship, and whilst descending the steps he
was overcome by a seizure, and would have fallen but for the aid of his
escort. The dawn of the following morning beheld him tossed upon the
waves of the Atlantic, and looking back to the clifted heads of the
Shannon, that stood like a gigantic portal opening far behind. The land
of his nativity faded rapidly on his sight, but before the vessel came
in sight of that of his exile, he had rendered up the life which the law
forbore to take.

Danny Mann died amid all the agonies of a remorse which made even those
whose eyes had looked upon such cases shrink back with fear and wonder.
Mrs. Cregan lived many years after Hardress's departure, practising the
austere and humiliating works of piety which her Church prescribes for
the penitent.

Anne Chute, in the course of time, became Kyrle Daly's wife, and they
were as happy as earth could render hearts that looked to higher
destinies and a more lasting rest.

       *       *       *       *       *




JOHN HABBERTON


Helen's Babies


     John Habberton, the author of "Helen's Babies," was born in
     Brooklyn, New York, on February 24, 1842. He enlisted in the
     army in 1862, and served through the Civil War, at the close
     of which he adopted journalism as a profession, becoming, in
     due course, literary editor of the "Christian Union." His
     first and most popular story, "Helen's Babies," after being
     declined by various publishers, appeared in 1876, and more
     than a quarter of a million copies have been sold in America
     alone. According to Mr. Habberton himself, the story "grew out
     of an attempt to keep for a single day the record of the
     doings of a brace of boys of whom the author is half-owner."
     Apart from a number of novels, Mr. Habberton has also written
     a "Life of George Washington," and a play, "Deacon Cranket,"
     performed more than five hundred times.


_I.--The Imps_


The first cause of the existence of this book may be found in a letter,
written by my sister, and received by me, Harry Burton, salesman of
white goods, bachelor, aged twenty-eight, just as I was trying to decide
where I should spend a fortnight's vacation. She suggested, as I was
always complaining of never having time to read, I should stay at her
place, while she and her husband went on a fortnight's visit. She owned
she would feel easier if she knew there was a man in the house.

"Just the thing!" I ejaculated. Five minutes later I had telegraphed my
acceptance, and had mentally selected books enough for a dozen
vacations. I knew enough of Helen's boys to be sure they would give one
no annoyance. Budge, the elder, was five years of age, and had
generally, during my flying visits, worn a shy, serious, meditative,
noble face, and Toddie was a happy little know-nothing of three summers,
with tangled yellow hair.

Three days later I hired a hackman to drive me from Hillcrest Station.
Half a mile from my brother-in-law's residence the horses shied
violently, and the driver, after talking freely to them, remarked, "That
was one of the Imps!"

As he spoke the offending youth came panting beside our carriage, and in
a very dirty sailor-suit I recognised my nephew Budge. Then a smaller
boy emerged from the bushes at the side of the road, and I beheld the
unmistakable lineaments of Toddie.

"They're my nephews!" I gasped.

"Budge," I said, with all the sternness I could command; "do you know
me?"

"Yes; you're Uncle Harry. Did you bring us anything?"

"I wish I could have brought you some big whippings for behaving so
badly. Get into this carriage."

As they clambered up, I noticed that each one carried a very dirty
towel, knotted tightly in the centre. After some moments' disgusted
contemplation of these rags, I asked Budge what these towels were for.

"They're not towels, they're dollies," promptly answered my nephew.

"Goodness!" I exclaimed. "I should think your mother might buy you
respectable dolls, and not let you appear in public with these loathsome
rags."

"We don't like buyed dollies," said Budge. "These dollies is lovely.
Mine's got blue eyes and Toddie's has got brown eyes."

"I want to shee your watch," remarked Toddie, snatching the chain and
rolling into my lap.

"Oh-oo-ee! So do I!" shouted Budge, hastening to occupy one knee, and in
transit wiping his shoes on my trousers and the skirts of my coat.

A carriage containing a couple of ladies was rapidly approaching; I
dropped my head to avoid meeting their glance, for my few minutes of
contact with my dreadful nephews had made me feel inexpressibly un-neat.
The carriage stopped. I heard my own name spoken. There, erect, fresh,
neat, bright-eyed, fair-faced, smiling, and observant, sat Miss Alice
Mayton, a lady who for about a year I had been adoring from afar.

"When did you arrive, Mr. Burton?" she asked. "You're certainly a
happy-looking trio--so unconventional! You look as if you had been
having _such_ a good time."

"I--I assure you, Miss Mayton, that my experience has been the reverse
of a pleasant one. If King Herod were yet alive I'd volunteer as an
executioner."

"You dreadful wretch!" exclaimed the lady. "Mother, let me make you
acquainted with Mr. Burton, Helen Lawrence's brother. How is your
sister, Mr. Burton?"

"I don't know," I replied; "she's gone with her husband on a visit, and
I've been silly enough to promise to give an eye to the place while
they're away."

"Why, how delightful!" said Miss Mayton. "Such horses! Such flowers!
Such a cook!"

"And such children!" said I, glaring at the Imps, and rescuing my
handkerchief from Toddie.

"Why, they're the best children in the world! Helen told me so. Children
will be children, you know. I don't wish to give any hints, but at Mrs.
Clarkson's, where we're boarding, there's not a flower in the whole
garden. I break the Tenth Commandment every time I pass Colonel
Lawrence's. Good-bye."

"Of course you'll call," said Miss Mayton, as the carriage started;
"it's dreadfully stupid here. No men, except on Sundays."

I bowed assent. In the contemplation of all the shy possibilities my
short chat with Miss Mayton had suggested, I had quite forgotten my
dusty clothing and the two little living causes thereof.


_II.--The Fate of a Bouquet_


Next morning at breakfast Toddie remarked, "Ocken Hawwy, darsh an awfoo
funny chunt upstairs. I show it to you after brepspup."

"Toddie's a silly little boy," said Budge, "he always says brepspup for
brekbux."

"Oh, what does he mean by chunt, Budge?"

"I guess he means trunk," replied my elder nephew.

Recollections of my childish delight in rummaging an old trunk caused me
to smile sympathetically at Toddie, to his great delight.

A direful thought struck me. I dashed upstairs. Yes, he did mean my
trunk. While a campaigner, I had learned to reduce packing to an exact
science. Now, if I had an atom of pride in me, I might have glorified
myself, for it certainly seemed as if the heap upon the floor could
never have come out of one single trunk.

In the lid of my dressing-case lay my dress-coat, tightly rolled up.
Snatching it up, with a violent exclamation, there dropped from it--one
of these infernal dolls. A howl resounded from the doorway.

"You tookted my dolly out of her k'adle--want to wock my dolly oo-ee-
ee!"

I called the girl, and asked where the key was that locked the door
between my room and the children's.

"Please sir, Toddie threw it down the well."

I removed the lock and told the coachman to get ready at once to drive
to Paterson, where the nearest locksmith lived, by the hill road, one of
the most beautiful roads in America.

Away went the horses, and up rose a piercing shriek and a terrible roar.
I looked out hastily, only to see Budge and Toddie running after the
carriage and crying pitifully. The driver stopped of his own accord--he
seemed to know the children's ways and their results--and I helped them
in, meekly hoping the eye of Providence was upon me.

That afternoon I devoted myself to making a bouquet for Miss Mayton, and
a most delightful occupation I found it.

Not that I was in love with Miss Mayton. A man may honestly and strongly
admire a handsome, brilliant woman, and delight himself in trying to
give her pleasure without feeling it necessary she shall give him
herself in return.

My delight suddenly became clouded. What would folks say? Everybody knew
where Mike was employed--everybody knew I was the only gentleman at
present residing at Colonel Lawrence's. Ah, I had it.

I had seen in one of the library drawers a pasteboard box--just the
size. I dropped my card into the bottom, neatly fitted in the bouquet,
and went in search of Mike.

He winked cheeringly, and said he would do it "as clane as a whistle.
Divil a man can see, but the angels, and they won't tell."

"Very well, Mike. Here's a dollar for you. You'll find the box on the
hat-rack in the hall."

With a head full of pleasing fancies I went down to supper, and found my
new friends unusually good. Their ride seemed to have toned down their
boisterousness, and elevated their little souls. So when they invited me
to put them to bed I gladly accepted. Toddie disappeared somewhere, and
came back disconsolate.

"Can't find my doll's k'adle!" he whined.

"Never mind, old pet!" said I, soothingly, "uncle will ride you on his
foot."

"But I want my dolly's k'adle, tawse my dolly's in it, and I want to
shee her!"

"Don't you want me to tell you a story?"

For a moment Toddle's face indicated a terrible internal conflict
between old Adam and Mother Eve; finally curiosity overpowered natural
depravity, and Toddie muttered, "Yesh!"

Very soon a knock at the door interrupted me. "Come in!" I shouted.

In stepped Mike, with an air of the greatest secrecy, handed me a letter
and _the_ box. What could it mean? I hastily opened the envelope, while
Toddie shrieked, "Oh, darsh my dolly's k'adle--dare tizh!" snatched and
opened the box, and displayed--his doll!

My heart sickened as I read, "Miss Mayton herewith returns to Mr. Burton
the package which has just arrived, with his card. She recognises the
contents as a portion of the property of one of Mr. Burton's nephews,
but is unable to understand why it should have been sent to her."

"Toddie!" I roared, as my younger nephew caressed his loathsome doll,
"where did you get that box?"

"On the hat-wack," he replied, with perfect fearlessness. "I keeps it in
ze bookcase djawer, and somebody took it 'way an' put nasty ole flowers
in it."

"Where are those flowers?" I demanded.

Toddie looked up with considerable surprise, but promptly replied, "I
froed 'em away--don't want no ole flowers in my dolly's k'adle. That's
ze way she wocks--see?" And this horrible little destroyer of human
hopes rolled that box back and forth with the most utter unconcern.

Of language to express my feeling to Toddie, I could find absolutely
none. Within these few minutes I had discovered how very anxious I
really was to merit Miss Mayton's regard, and how very different was the
regard I wanted from that which I had previously hoped might be accorded
to me. Under my stern glance Toddie gradually lost interest in his doll,
and began to thrust forth his piteous lower lip, and to weep copiously.

"Dee Lord, not make me sho bad." He even retired to a corner and hid his
face in self-imposed penance.

"Never mind, Toddie," said I sadly; "you didn't mean to do it, I know."

"I wantsh to love you," sobbed Toddie.

"Well, come here, you poor little fellow."

Toddie came to my arms, shed tears freely upon my shirt-front, and
finally remarked, "Wantsh you to love me!"

I kissed Toddie, and petted him, and at length succeeded in quieting
him. He looked earnestly, confidingly, in my eyes, and then said, "Kish
my dolly, too!"

I obeyed. My forgiveness was complete, and so was my humiliation. I
withdrew abruptly to write an apology.


_III.--Budge, the Interpreter_


On Monday morning I devoted myself to Toddie's expiatory bouquet, in
which I had the benefit of my nephews' assistance and counsel, and took
enforced part in the conversation.

At two o'clock I instructed Maggie to dress my nephews, and at three we
started to make our call. As we approached, I saw Miss Mayton on the
piazza. Handing the bouquet to Toddie, we entered the garden, when he
shrieked, "Oh, there's a cutter-grass!" and with the carelessness born
of perfect ecstasy, dropped the bouquet.

I snatched it before it reached the ground, dragged him up to Miss
Mayton, and told him to give the bouquet to the lady. As she stooped to
kiss him, he wriggled off like a little eel, shouted "Tum on!" to his
brother, and a moment later both were following the lawn-mower at a
respectful distance.

"Bless the little darlings!" said Miss Mayton. "I do love to see
children enjoying themselves!"

We settled down to a pleasant chat about books, pictures, music, and the
gossip of our set. Handsome, intelligent, composed, tastefully dressed,
she awakened to the uttermost every admiring sentiment and every manly
feeling. When I began to take leave, Miss Mayton's mother insisted that
we should stay to dinner.

"For myself, I should be delighted, Mrs. Mayton," said I, "but my
nephews have hardly learned company manners yet."

"Oh, I'll take care of the little dears," said Miss Mayton. "They'll be
good with me, I know."

She insisted, and the pleasure of submitting to her will was so great
that I would have risked even greater mischief. The soup was served, and
Toddie immediately tilted his plate so that part of its contents sought
refuge in the folds of Miss Mayton's dainty, snowy dress. She treated
that wretched boy with the most Christian forbearance during the rest of
the meal.

When the dessert was finished, she quickly excused herself, and I
removed Toddie to a secluded corner, and favoured him with a lecture
which caused him to howl pitifully, and compelled me to caress him and
undo all the good I had done.

I awaited Miss Mayton's reappearance to offer an apology for Toddie, and
to make my adieus. The other ladies departed in twos and threes, and
left us without witnesses.

Suddenly she appeared, and, whatever was the cause, she looked queenly.
She dropped into a chair, and the boys retired to the end of the piazza
to make experiments on a large Newfoundland dog, while I, the happiest
man alive, talked to the glorious woman before me, and enjoyed her
radiant beauty. The twilight came and deepened, and our voices
unconsciously dropped to lower tones, and her voice seemed purest music.

Suddenly a small shadow came between, and the voice of Budge remarked,
"Uncle Harry 'spects you, Miss Mayton."

"Suspects me! Of what, pray?" exclaimed the lady, patting my nephew's
cheek.

"Budge," said I--I felt my voice rising nearly to a scream--"Budge, I
must beg you to respect the sanctity of confidential communications."

"What is it, Budge?" persisted Miss Mayton. "You know the old adage, Mr.
Burton, 'Children and fools speak the truth.' Of what does he suspect
me, Budge?"

"'Tain't _sus_pect at all," said Budge; "it's espect."

"Expect?" echoed Miss Mayton.

"Respect is what the boy is trying to say, Miss Mayton," I interrupted.
"Budge has a terrifying faculty for asking questions, and the result of
some of them this morning was my endeavour to explain the nature of the
respect in which gentlemen hold ladies."

"Yes," said Budge; "I know all about it. Only Uncle Harry don't say it
right. What he calls respect _I_ calls _love_."

"Miss Mayton," I said hastily, earnestly, "Budge is a marplot, but he is
a very truthful interpreter, for all that. Whatever my fate may be, do
not----"

"I want to talk some," observed Budge. "You talk all the whole time.
I--when I loves anybody I kisses them." Miss Mayton gave a little start,
and my thoughts followed each other with unimagined rapidity. She was
not angry, evidently. Could it be that----? I bent over her, and acted
on Budge's suggestion. She raised her head slightly, and I saw that
Alice Mayton had surrendered at discretion. Taking her hand, I offered
to the Lord more fervent thanks than He had ever heard from me in
church. Then Budge said, "I wants to kiss you, too." And I saw my
glorious Alice snatch the little scamp into her arms and treat him with
more affection than I had ever imagined was in her nature.

Suddenly two or three ladies came upon the piazza.

"Come, boys!" said I. "Then I'll call with the carriage to-morrow at
three, Miss Mayton. Good-evening."

That night I wrote to my sister to inform her that the scales had fallen
from my eyes--I saw clearly that my nephews were angels. And I begged to
refer her to Alice Mayton for collateral evidence.


_IV.--The Fruit of My Visit_


A few days later I had a letter from my sister to say she had been
recalling a fortnight's experience they once had of courtship in a
boarding-house, so had determined to cut short her visit and hurry home.
Friday morning they intended to arrive--blessings on their thoughtful
hearts! And this was Friday. I hurried into the boys' room and shouted,
"Toddie! Budge! Who do you think is coming to see you this morning?"

"Who?" asked Budge.

"Organ-grinder?" queried Toddie.

"No; your papa and mamma."

Budge looked like an angel at once, but Toddie murmured mournfully, "I
fought it wash an organ-grinder."

"Oh, Uncle Harry," said Budge, in a perfect delirium of delight, "I
believe if my papa and mamma had stayed away any longer I believe I
would _die_. I've been so lonesome for them that I haven't known what to
do. I've cried whole pillowsful about it, right here in the dark."

"Why, my poor old fellow," said I, picking him up and kissing him. "Why
didn't you come and tell Uncle Harry, and let him try to comfort you?"

"I couldn't," said Budge. "When I gets lonesome, it feels as if my mouth
was all tied up, and a big, great stone was right in here." And Budge
put his hand on his chest.

"If a big tone wash inshide of me," said Toddie, "I'd take it out and
frow it at the shickens."

"Toddie," I said, "aren't you glad papa and mamma are coming?"

"Yesh," said Toddie. "Mamma always bwings me candy fen she goes
anyfere."

During the hour which passed before it was time to start for the depot,
my sole attention was devoted to keeping the children from soiling their
clothes, but my success was so little, I lost my temper utterly.

"Harness the horse, Mike," I shouted.

"An' the goat, too," added Budge.

Five minutes later I was seated in the carriage.

"Are you all ready, boys?" I asked.

"In a minute," said Budge; "soon as I fix this. Now," he continued,
getting into his seat and seizing the reins and whip, "go ahead!"

"Wait a minute, Budge. Put down that whip, and don't touch the goat with
it once. I'm going to drive very slowly; all you need do is to hold the
reins."

"All right," said Budge; "but I like to look like mans when I drive."

The horses went at a gentle trot, and the goat followed very closely.
When within a minute of the depot the train swept in. I gave the horses
the whip, looked, and saw the boys close behind me. Nothing but the
sharpest of turns saved me from a severe accident. As it was, I heard
two hard thumps upon the wooden wall, and two frightful howls, and saw
both my nephews mixed up on the platform, while the driver of the stage
growled in my ear, "What in thunder did you let 'em hitch that goat to
your axletree for?"

How the goat's head and shoulders maintained their normal connection
during the last minute of my drive, I leave naturalists to explain.
Fortunately, the children had struck on their heads, and the Lawrence-
Burton skull is a marvel of solidity. I set them on their feet, promised
them all the candy they could eat for a week, and hurried them to the
other side of the depot. Budge rushed at Tom, exclaiming, "See my goat,
papa?"

Helen was somewhat concerned about the children, but found time to look
at me with so much of sympathy, humour, affection, and condescension
that I really felt relieved when we reached the house. And how
gloriously the rest of the day passed off! We had a delightful little
lunch, and Tom brought up a bottle of Roederer, and we drank to "her and
her mother." Then Helen proposed, "The makers of the match--Budge and
Toddie," which was honoured with bumpers. The gentlemen toasted did not
respond, but stared so curiously I sprang from my chair and kissed them
soundly, while Helen and Tom exchanged significant glances.

Young as they are, I find frequent reason to be jealous of them, but
artifice alone can prevent them monopolising the time of an adorable
being of whose society I cannot possibly have too much. She insists
that, when the ceremony takes place in December, they shall officiate as
groomsmen, and I have no doubt she will carry her point In fact, when I
retire for the night without first seeking their room, and putting a
grateful kiss on their unconscious lips, my conscience upbraids me with
base ingratitude. To think I might yet be a hopeless bachelor had it not
been for them, is to overflow with gratitude to the Giver of Helen's
Babies.

       *       *       *       *       *




LUDOVIC HALEVY


The Abbe Constantin


     Ludovic Halevy, born in Paris on January 1, 1834, was a nephew
     of Jacques Francois Halevy, the famous operatic composer.
     Beginning life in the Civil Service, he himself achieved
     considerable distinction as a dramatic author, "Frou-Frou,"
     written in collaboration with Meilhac, being one of the
     greatest theatrical successes of his century. He soon,
     however, forsook the drama for fiction. His first novel,
     "Monsieur and Madame Cardinal," published in 1873, gave ample
     promise of the inventive genius and gift of characterisation
     that were fully realised nine years later in "L'Abbe
     Constantin." The tale, an exquisite study of French provincial
     life, came as a distinct revelation of French life and
     character to English readers. It has reached 240 editions, and
     has been translated into all European languages. In 1886
     Halevy was elected to the French Academy. He died on May 8,
     1908.


_I.--"The Good Days Are Gone"_


With footstep firm and strong, despite his weight of years, an old
priest was walking along a dusty country road one sunny day in May 1881.
It was more than thirty years since the Abbe Constantin had first become
_cure_ of the little village sleeping there in the sunny plain of
France, beside a dainty stream called the Lizotte. He had been walking
for a quarter of an hour along the wall of the Chateau de Longueval. As
he reached the massive entrance gates he stopped and gazed sadly at two
immense bills pasted on the pillars. They announced the sale by auction
that day of the Longueval estate, divided into four lots: (1) The
castle, with all its grounds and parks; (2) the farm of
Blanche-Couronne, 700 acres; (3) the farm of Rozeraie, 500 acres; (4)
the forest and woods of Mionne, 900 acres. The reserve prices totalled
the respectable sum of 2,050,000 francs!

So that magnificent estate, which for two centuries had passed intact
from father to son in the Longueval family, was to be divided. The bills
announced, it was true, that after the preliminary sale of the four lots
the highest bidder might bid for the whole estate. But it was an
enormous sum, and no purchaser was likely to present himself.

The Marquise de Longueval, dying six months since, had left three heirs,
her grandchildren, two of whom were under age, so that the estate had to
be put up for sale. Pierre, the eldest, an extravagant young man of
twenty-three, had foolishly squandered half his money, and was quite
unable to re-purchase Longueval.

It was twelve o'clock. In an hour the chateau would have a new master.
Who would he be? Who could take the place of the marquise, the old
friend of the country cure, and the kindly friend of all the villagers.
The old priest walked on, thinking sadly of the habits of thirty years
suddenly interrupted. Every Thursday and every Sunday he had dined at
the chateau. How much had they made of him! Cure of Longueval! All his
life he had been that, had dreamed of nothing else. He loved his little
church, the little village, and his little vicarage.

Still in pensive mood, he was passing the park of Lavardens when he
heard some one calling him. Looking up, he saw the Countess of Lavardens
and her son Paul. She was a widow; her son a handsome young man, who had
made a bad start in the world and now contented himself by spending some
months in Paris every year, when he dissipated the annual allowance from
his mother, and returned home for the rest of the year to loaf about in
idleness or in pursuit of stupid sports.

"Where are you off to, Monsieur le Cure?" asked the countess.

"To Souvigny, to learn the result of the sale."

"Stay here with us. M. de Larnac is there, and will hasten back with the
news. But I can tell you who are the new owners of the castle."

At this the abbe turned into the gates of the countess's grounds, and
joined that lady and her son on the terrace of their house. The new
owners, it appeared, were to be M. de Larnac, M. Gallard, a rich Paris
banker, and the countess herself, for the three had agreed to purchase
it between them.

"It is all settled," the lady assured him. But presently M. de Larnac
arrived with the news that they had been unable to buy it, as some
American had paid an enormous sum for the entire estate. The person who
was now to be the great lady of Longueval was named Madame Scott.

M. de Larnac had some further particulars to add. He had heard that the
Scotts were great upstarts, and that the new owner of the castle had
actually been a beggar in New York. A great lawsuit had resulted in
favour of her and her husband, making them the owners of a silver-mine.

"And we are to have such people for neighbours!" exclaimed the countess.
"An adventuress, and no doubt a Protestant, Monsieur le Cure!"

The abbe was very sore at heart, and, never doubting but that the new
mistress of the castle would be no friend of his, he took his way
homeward. In his imagination he saw this Madame Scott settled at the
castle and despising his little Catholic church and all his simple
services to the quiet village folk.

He was still brooding over the unhappy fate of Longueval when his
godson, Jean Reynaud--son of his old friend Dr. Reynaud--to whom he had
been as good as a father, and who was worthy of the old priest's love,
dismounted at his door. For Jean was now a lieutenant in the artillery
stationed in the district, and much of his leisure was spent at the
abbe's house. Jean tried to console him by saying that even though this
American, Madame Scott, were not a Catholic, she was known to be
generous, and would no doubt give him money for the poor.


_II.--The New Parishioners_


The abbe and his godson were in the garden next day, when they heard a
carriage stop at the gate. Two ladies alighted, dressed in simple
travelling costumes. They came into the garden, and the elder of the
two, who seemed to be no more than twenty-five, came up to the Abbe
Constantin saying, with only the slightest foreign accent, "I am obliged
to introduce myself, M. le Cure. I am Madame Scott, in whose name
yesterday the castle and estate were bought, and if it is no
inconvenience I should be glad to take five minutes of your time." Then,
turning to her companion, she said, "This is my sister, Miss Bettina
Percival, as you may have guessed."

Greatly agitated, the abbe bowed his respects, and led into his little
vicarage the new mistress of Longueval and her sister. The cloth had
been laid for the simple meal of the old priest and the lieutenant, and
the ladies seemed charmed with the humble comfort of the place.

"Look now, Susie," said Miss Bettina, "isn't this just the sort of
vicarage you hoped it would be?"

"And the abbe also, if he will allow me to say so," said Madame Scott.
"For what did I say in the train this morning, Bettina, and only a
little while ago in the carriage?"

"My sister said to me, M. le Cure," said Miss Percival, "that she
desired, above all things, that the abbe should not be young, nor
melancholy, nor severe, but that he should be white-haired and gentle
and good."

"And that is you exactly, M. le Cure," said Madame Scott brightly. "I
find you just as I had hoped, and I trust you may be as well pleased
with your new parishioners."

"Parishioners!" exclaimed the abbe. "But then you are Catholics?"

"Certainly we are Catholics!" And noting the surprise of the old abbe,
she went on to say, "Ah, I understand! Our name and our country made you
expect we should be Protestants and unfriendly to you and your people.
But our mother was a Canadian and a Catholic, of French origin, and that
is why my sister and I speak French with just a little foreign accent.
My husband is a Protestant, but he leaves me full liberty, and so my two
children are being educated in my own faith. And that is why we have
come to see you the first day we have arrived."

The good old priest was overwhelmed by the news, but his joy almost
brought tears to his eyes when the ladies each presented him with a
thousand francs, and promised five hundred francs a month for the poor.
He had never handled so much money in all his life before.

"Why, there will be no poor left in all the district!" he stammered.

"And we should be glad if that were so," said Madame Scott, "for we have
plenty, and we could not do better with it."

Then followed the happiest little dinner party that had ever taken place
beneath the abbe's roof. Madame Scott explained how her husband had
bought the chateau as a surprise for her, and that neither she nor her
sister had seen it until that morning.

"Now, tell me," she suggested, "what they said about the new owner." The
old priest blushed, and was at a loss to answer. "Well, you are a
soldier," she continued, turning to Lieutenant Reynaud, "and you will
tell me. Did they say that I had been a beggar?"

"Yes, I heard that said."

"And that I had been a performer in a travelling circus?"

"That also I heard said," he admitted.

"I thank you for your frankness; and now let me tell you that, while I
can see nothing in either case that would be any disgrace to me, the
story does not happen to be true. I have known what it is to be poor,
for my parents died eight years ago, leaving us only a great lawsuit,
but my father's last wish was that we should fight it to the end. With
the aid of the son of one of his old friends, now my husband, we fought
and won. That is how I came into my fortune. The stories you have heard
were invented by spiteful Paris journalists."

After the ladies had taken their departure for Paris, the Abbe
Constantin was as happy as he had so lately been miserable. And as for
Lieutenant Reynaud, the vision of their fresh and charming faces was
with him all through the military manoeuvres in which he was now
engaged. But as both of them were equally charming in his mind, he
concluded he could not have fallen in love, or he would have known which
he admired the more.

He did not know how many were the suitors in Paris for Miss Bettina, and
possibly if he had seen the sisters among the fashionable people of that
gay city he would never have given them a second thought, for he was a
true son of the country, this healthy and manly young officer, whose
tastes were as simple as the surroundings in which he had grown up
demanded.

Miss Bettina, indeed, had only to say the word, and she might have been
the Princess Romanelli. "And I should like to be a princess, for the
name sounds well," she said to herself. "Oh, if I only loved him!" There
were many men of rank and title who would have been glad to have married
the wealthy young American lady, but she found herself in love with none
of them, and now she was looking forward to the fourteenth of June, when
she and her sister were to leave Paris for Longueval. During their stay
at the castle they were to entertain many friends, but for ten days they
were to be free to roam the woods and fields, and forget the
distractions of their fashionable life in the capital.

"But you forget," said Madame Scott, on their way to Longueval, "that we
are to have two people to dinner to-night."

"Ah, but I shall be glad to welcome both of them--particularly the young
lieutenant," Bettina confessed, with a touch of shyness.


_III.--Friendship Grows_


Great alterations had been made at the castle during the month that had
elapsed. The rooms had been refurnished, the stables and coach-houses
were stocked, the pleasure-grounds made trim and beautiful, and servants
were busy everywhere. When the abbe and Jean arrived, they were ushered
in by two tall and dignified footmen, but Madame Scott received them
with all the frankness she had shown at the vicarage, and presented her
son Harry and her daughter Bella, who were six and five years old. Then
Miss Percival joined them, and presently they were all talking together
like old friends. But the happiest of all was Abbe Constantin. He felt
at home again--too much at home--and when coffee was served on the
terrace in front of the chateau after dinner, he lost himself in an
agreeable reverie. Then--terrible catastrophe!--he fell into his old
habit, and sank into an after dinner doze, as he had so often done in
the days of the marquise.

Jean and Bettina found much to say to each other, and as the ladies were
looking forward to riding round the estates, Jean, who rode every day
for exercise, promised to join them. It was quite clear that Miss
Bettina was glad to see them both--"particularly the young lieutenant!"
And when Madame Scott and her sister walked up the avenue, after having
accompanied Jean and the abbe to the gate, Bettina confessed that she
expected to be scolded for being so friendly with Jean.

"But I shall not scold you," Madame Scott said, "for he has made a
favourable impression on me from the first. He inspires me with
confidence."

"That is just how I feel towards him," said Bettina quietly.

As for Jean, he talked so much to Paul about his visit that that gay
young man accused him of having fallen in love, but, of course, that was
mere nonsense! There was no fear of Jean falling in love! For a poor
lieutenant could never dream of winning an heiress for his wife. When
next he met Bettina they had a very long talk about their people, and it
appeared that they were both descendants of French peasants. That was
why Jean loved the country folk around Longueval. And when he had served
his time in the army, he thought he would retire on half-pay--an old
colonel, perhaps--and come back to live there.

"Always quite alone?" asked Bettina.

"Why, I hope not."

"Oh, then you intend to marry!"

"Well, one may think of that, though one need not always be seeking to
marry."

"Yet there are some who look for it, I know, and I have heard that you
might have married more than one girl with a handsome fortune if you had
wished."

"And how do you know that?" asked Jean.

"Monsieur le Cure told me. I soon found that nothing makes your
godfather happier than to talk of you, and in our morning walks he tells
me your history. Tell me why you refused these good marriages."

"Simply because I thought it better not to marry at all than to marry
without love," was Jean's frank avowal.

"I think so, too," said Bettina.

She looked at him. He looked at her, and suddenly, to the great surprise
of both, they found nothing more to say. Fortunately, at this moment
Harry and Bella burst into the room with an invitation to see their
ponies.


_IV.--Bettina's Confession_


Three weeks, during which Longueval has been crowded with visitors, have
passed, and the time has come for Jean to take the road for the annual
artillery practice. He will be away for twenty days, and, while he
wishes to be off, he wonders how those twenty days will pass without a
sight of Bettina, for now he frankly adores her. He is happy and he is
miserable. He knows by every action and every word that she loves him as
truly as he loves her. But he feels it his duty to fight against his own
heart's wish, lest the penniless lieutenant might be thought to covet
the riches of the young heiress.

But he could not drag himself away without one last meeting. Yet when he
saw how anxious Bettina was to please him and make him happy with her
friendship, he was afraid to hold her in his arms lest he might be
tempted to tell her how full his heart was with love for her. She
excused herself to Paul de Lavardens so that she might give his dance to
Jean, but Jean declined the favour on the plea that he was not feeling
well, and, to save himself, he hastened off without even shaking her
hand.

But all this only told his secret the more clearly to the heart that
loved him.

"I love him, dear Susie," said Bettina that night, "and I know that he
loves me for myself; not for the money I possess."

"You are sure, my dear?"

"Yes; for he will not speak; he tries to avoid me. My horrid money,
which attracts others to me, is the thing that keeps him from declaring
his love."

"Be very sure, my dear, for you know you might have been a marchioness
or a princess if you had wished. You are sure you will not mind being
plain Madame Reynaud?"

"Absolutely; for I love him!"

"Now let me make a proposal," Bettina went on. "Jean is going away
to-morrow; I shall not see him for three weeks, and that will be time to
know my own mind. In three weeks may I go and ask him myself if he will
have me for his wife? Tell me, Susie, may I?"

Of course her sister could but consent, and Bettina was happy.

Next morning she had a wild desire to wave Jean a good-bye. In the
pouring rain she made her way through the woods to the terrace by the
road, her dress torn by the thorns, and her umbrella lost, to wave to
him as he passed, saying to herself that this would show him how dear he
was in her thoughts.

Mr. Scott had come from Paris before Jean was back, and he, too,
approved of Bettina's plan, for they wished her to marry only one she
truly loved. But when the lieutenant came back with his regiment, he had
made up his mind to avoid meeting Bettina, and had even decided to
exchange into another regiment. He refused an invitation to the chateau,
but the good abbe begged of him not to leave the district.

"Wait a little, until the good God calls me. Do not go now."

Jean urged that honour made it clear to him he should go away. The abbe
told him that he was quite sure Bettina's heart was all for him as truly
as he believed Jean's love was all for her. Her money, Jean confessed,
was the great drawback, as it might make others think lightly of his
love for her. Besides, he was a soldier, and he could not condemn her to
the life of a soldier's wife.

The abbe was still trying to convince his godson, when there came a
knock at the door, and the old man, opening the door, admitted--Bettina!

She went straight to Jean and took him by both hands, saying, "I must go
to him first, for less than three weeks ago he was suffering!" The young
lieutenant stood speechless. "And now to you, M. le Cure, let me
confess. But do not go away, Jean, for it is a public confession. What I
have to say I would have said to-night at the chateau, but Jean has
declined our invitation, and So I come here to say it to M. le Cure."

"I am listening, mademoiselle," stammered the cure.

"I am rich, M. le Cure, and, to speak the truth, I like my money very
much. I like it selfishly, so to say, for the joy and pleasure I have in
giving. I have always said to myself, 'My husband must be worthy of
sharing this fortune,' and I have also said, 'I want to love the man who
will be my husband!' And now I am coming to my confession.... Here is a
man who for two months has done all he could to hide from me that he
loves me.... Jean, do you love me?"

"Yes," murmured Jean, his eyes cast down like a criminal, "I love you."

"I knew it." Bettina lost a little of her assurance; her voice trembled
slightly. She continued, however, with an effort. "M. le Cure, I do not
blame you entirely for what has happened, but certainly it is partly
your fault."

"My fault?"

"Yes, your fault. I am certain you have spoken to Jean too much of me,
much too much. And then you have told me too much of him. No, not too
much, but quite enough! I had so much confidence in you that I began to
consider him a little more closely. I began to compare him with those
who, for more than a year, have sought my hand. It seemed to me that he
was their superior in every way. Then, there came a day... an evening...
three weeks ago, the eve of your departure, Jean, and I found I loved
you. Yes, Jean, I love you!... I beg you, Jean, be still; do not come
near me.... I have still something to say, more important than all. I
know that you love me, but if you are to marry me I want your reason to
sanction it. Jean, I know you, and I know to what I should bind myself
in becoming your wife. I know what duties, what sacrifices, you have to
meet in your calling. Jean, do not doubt it, I would not turn you from
any one of these duties, these sacrifices. Never! Never would I ask you
to give up your career.

"And now, M. le Cure, it is not to him but to you that I speak. Tell me,
should he not agree to be my husband?"

"Jean," said the old priest gravely, "marry her. It is your duty, and it
will be your happiness."

Jean took Bettina in his arms, but she gently freed herself, and said to
the abbe, "I wish--I wish your blessing." And the old priest replied by
kissing her paternally.

One month later the abbe had the happiness of performing the marriage
ceremony in his little church, where he had consecrated all the
happiness and goodness of his life.

       *       *       *       *       *




NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE


The Scarlet Letter


     Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist and essayist, was born
     on July 4, 1804, at Salem, Massachusetts. His father, a master
     mariner, died early, and the boy grew up in a lonely country
     life with his mother. He graduated at Bowdoin College, but his
     literary impulse had already declared itself, and he retired
     to Salem to write, unsuccessfully for many years. Later he
     held subordinate official positions in the custom-house at
     Salem, and lived for a few months in the Brook Farm
     socialistic community. Severing his connection with the Civil
     Service in 1841, it was Nathaniel Hawthorne's intention to
     devote himself entirely to literature. In this he was
     unsuccessful, and in a short while was forced to accept a
     position in the custom-house again, this time as surveyor in
     his native town of Salem. It was during this period he wrote
     "The Scarlet Letter," published in 1850, which immediately
     brought him fame, and still remains the most popular of his
     novels. Hawthorne himself has described how the story came to
     be written. The discovery of an old manuscript by a former
     surveyor, and a rag of scarlet cloth, which, on careful
     examination, assumed the shape of a letter--the capital
     A--gave a reasonably complete explanation of the whole affair
     of "one Hester Prynne, who appeared to have been rather a
     noteworthy personage in the view of our ancestors." Nathaniel
     Hawthorne died on May 18, 1864.


_I.--The Pedestal of Shame_


The grass-plot before the jail in Prison Lane, on a certain summer
morning, not less than two centuries ago, was occupied by a pretty large
number of the inhabitants of Boston, all with their eyes intently
fastened on the iron-clamped oaken door.

The door of the jail being flung open from within, there appeared, in
the first place, the grim presence of the town-beadle, and following him
a young woman who bore in her arms a baby of some three months old.

The young woman was tall, and those who had known Hester Prynne before
were astonished to perceive how her beauty shone out. On the breast of
her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and
fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A, and it was
that scarlet letter which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured
the wearer.

A lane was forthwith opened through the crowd of spectators. Preceded by
the beadle, and attended by an irregular procession of stern-browed men
and unkindly visaged women, Hester Prynne set forth towards the place
appointed for her punishment. It was no great distance from the prison
door to the market-place, and in spite of the agony of her heart, Hester
passed with almost a serene deportment to the scaffold where the pillory
was set up.

The crowd was sombre and grave, and the unhappy prisoner sustained
herself as best a woman might, under the heavy weight of a thousand
unrelenting eyes.

One man, small in stature, and of a remarkable intelligence in his
features, who stood on the outskirts of the crowd, attracted the notice
of Hester Prynne, and he in his turn bent his eyes on the prisoner till,
seeing she appeared to recognise him, he slowly raised his finger and
laid it on his lips.

Then, touching the shoulder of a townsman who stood next to him, he
said, "I pray you, good sir, who is this woman, and wherefore is she
here set up to public shame?"

"You must needs be a stranger, friend," said the townsman, "else you
would surely have heard of Mistress Hester Prynne, and her evil doings.
She hath raised a great scandal in godly Master Dimmesdale's church. The
penalty thereof is death. But the magistracy, in their great mercy and
tenderness of heart, have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space
of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and for the remainder of
her natural life to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom."

"A wise sentence!" remarked the stranger gravely. "It irks me,
nevertheless, that the partner of her iniquity should not at least stand
on the scaffold by her side. But he will be known--he will be known!"

Directly over the platform on which Hester Prynne stood was a kind of
balcony, and here sat Governor Bellingham, with four sergeants about his
chair, and ministers of religion.

Mr. John Wilson, the eldest of these clergymen, first spake, and then
urged a younger minister, Mr. Dimmesdale, to exhort the prisoner to
repentance and to confession. "Speak to the woman, my brother," said Mr.
Wilson.

The Rev. Mr. Dimmesdale was a man of high native gifts, whose eloquence
and religious fervour had already wide eminence in his profession. He
bent his head, in silent prayer, as it seemed, and then came forward.

"Hester Prynne," said he, "if thou feelest it to be for thy soul's
peace, I charge thee to speak out the name of thy fellow-sinner and
fellow-sufferer. Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for
him, for, believe me, though he were to step down from a high place, and
stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of shame, yet better were it so
than to hide a guilty heart through life."

Hester only shook her head.

"She will not speak," murmured Mr. Dimmesdale. "Wondrous strength and
generosity of a woman's heart!"

Hester Prynne kept her place upon the pedestal of shame with an air of
weary indifference. With the same hard demeanour she was led back to
prison.

That night the child at her boson writhed in convulsions of pain, and
the jailer brought in a physician, whom he announced as Mr. Roger
Chillingworth, and who was none other than the stranger whom Hester had
noticed in the crowd.

He took the infant in his arms and administered a draught, and its moans
and convulsive tossings gradually ceased.

"Hester," said he, when the jailer had withdrawn, "I ask not wherefore
thou hast fallen into the pit. It was my folly and thy weakness. What
had I--a man of thought, the bookworm of great libraries--to do with
youth and beauty like thine own? I might have known that in my long
absence this would happen."

"I have greatly wronged thee," murmured Hester.

"We have wronged each other," he answered. "But I shall seek this man
whose name thou wilt not reveal, as I seek truth in books, and sooner or
later he must needs be mine. I shall contrive naught against his life.
Let him live! Not the less shall he be mine. One thing, thou that wast
my wife, I ask. Thou hast kept his name secret. Keep, likewise, mine.
Let thy husband be to the world as one already dead, and breathe not the
secret, above all, to the man thou wottest of?"

"I will keep thy secret, as I have his."


_II.--A Pearl of Great Price_


When her prison-door was thrown open, and she came forth into the
sunshine, Hester Prynne did not flee.

On the outskirts of the town was a small thatched cottage, and there, in
this lonesome dwelling, Hester established herself with her infant
child. Without a friend on earth who dared to show himself, she,
however, incurred no risk of want. She possessed an art that sufficed to
supply food for her thriving infant and herself--the art of needlework.

By degrees her handiwork became what would now be termed the fashion.
She bore on her breast, in the curiously embroidered letter, a specimen
of her skill, and her needlework was seen on the ruff of the governor;
military men wore it on their scarfs, and the minister on his bands.

As time went on, the public attitude to Hester changed. Human nature, to
its credit, loves more readily than it hates. Hester never battled with
the public, but submitted uncomplainingly to its worst usage, and so a
species of general regard had ultimately grown up in reference to her.

Hester had named the infant "Pearl," as being of great price, and little
Pearl grew up a wondrously lovely child, with a strange, lawless
character. At times she seemed rather an airy sprite than human, and
never did she seek to make acquaintance with other children, but was
always Hester's companion in her walks about the town.

At one time some of the leading inhabitants of the place sought to
deprive Hester of her child; and at the governor's mansion, whither
Hester had repaired, with some gloves which she had embroidered at his
order, the matter was discussed in the mother's presence by the governor
and his guests--Mr. John Wilson, Mr. Arthur Dimmesdale, and old Roger
Chillingworth, now established as a physician of great skill in the
town.

"God gave me the child!" cried Hester. "He gave her in requital of all
things else which ye have taken from me. Ye shall not take her! I will
die first! Speak thou for me," she cried turning to the young clergyman,
Mr. Dimmesdale. "Thou wast my pastor. Thou knowest what is in my heart,
and what are a mother's rights, and how much the stronger they are when
that mother has but her child and the scarlet letter! I will not lose
the child! Look to it!"

"There is truth in what she says," began the minister. "God gave her the
child, and there is a quality of awful sacredness between this mother
and this child. It is good for this poor, sinful woman that she hath an
infant confided to her care--to be trained up by her to righteousness,
to remind her and to teach her that, if she bring the child to heaven,
the child also will bring its parent thither. Let us then leave them as
Providence hath seen fit to place them!"

"You speak, my friend, with a strange earnestness," said old Roger
Chillingworth, smiling at him.

"He hath adduced such arguments that we will even leave the matter as it
now stands," said the governor. "So long, at least, as there shall be no
further scandal in the woman."

The affair being so satisfactorily concluded, Hester Prynne, with Pearl,
departed.


_III.--The Leach and his Patient_


It was at the solemn request of the deacons and elders of the church in
Boston that the Rev. Mr. Dimmesdale went to Roger Chillingworth for
professional advice. The young minister's health was failing, his cheek
was paler and thinner, and his voice more tremulous with every
successive Sabbath.

Roger Chillingworth scrutinised his patient carefully, and, accepted as
the medical adviser, determined to know the man before attempting to do
him good. He strove to go deep into his patient's bosom, delving among
his principles, and prying into his recollections.

After a time, at a hint from old Roger Chillingworth, the friends of Mr.
Dimmesdale effected an arrangement by which the two men were lodged in
the same house; so that every ebb and flow of the minister's life-tide
might pass under the watchful eye of his anxious physician.

Old Roger Chillingworth, throughout life, had been calm in temperament,
of kindly affections, and ever in the world a pure and upright man. He
had begun an investigation, as he imagined, with the severe integrity of
a judge, desirous only of truth. But, as he proceeded, a terrible
fascination seized the old man within its grip, and never set him free
again until he had done all its bidding. He now dug into the poor
clergyman's heart, like a miner searching for gold. "This man," the
physician would say to himself at times, "pure as they deem him, hath
inherited a strong animal nature from his father or his mother. Let us
dig a little farther in the direction of this vein."

Henceforth Roger Chillingworth became not a spectator only, but a chief
actor in the poor minister's inner world. And Mr. Dimmesdale grew to
look with unaccountable horror and hatred at the old physician.

And still the minister's fame and reputation for holiness increased,
even while he was tortured by bodily disease and the black trouble of
his soul.

More than once Mr. Dimmesdale had gone into the pulpit, with a purpose
never to come down until he should have spoken the truth of his life.
And ever he put a cheat upon himself by confessing in general terms his
exceeding vileness and sinfulness. One night in early May, driven by
remorse, and still indulging in the mockery of repentance, the minister
sought the scaffold, where Hester Prynne had stood. The town was all
asleep. There was no peril of discovery. And yet his vigil was surprised
by Hester and her daughter, returning from a death-bed in the town, and
presently by Roger Chillingworth himself.

"Who is that man?" gasped Mr. Dimmesdale, in terror. "I shiver at him,
Hester. Canst thou do nothing for me? I have a nameless horror of the
man!"

Hester remembered her promise and was silent.

"Worthy sir," said the physician, when he had advanced to the foot of
the platform, "pious Master Dimmesdale! Can this be you? Come, good sir,
I pray you, let me lead you home! You should study less, or these
night-whimseys will grow upon you."

"I will go home with you," said Mr. Dimmesdale.

And now Hester Prynne resolved to do what might be in her power for the
victim whom she saw in her former husband's grip. An opportunity soon
occurred when she met the old physician stooping in quest of roots to
concoct his medicines.

"When we last spake together," said Hester, "you bound me to secrecy
touching our former relations. But now I must reveal the secret. He must
discern thee in thy true character. What may be the result I know not.
So far as concerns the overthrow or preservation of his fair fame and
his earthly state, and perchance his life, he is in thy hands. Nor do
I--whom the scarlet letter has disciplined to truth--nor do I perceive
such advantage in his living any longer a life of ghastly emptiness,
that I shall stoop to implore thy mercy. Do with him as thou wilt! There
is no good for him, no good for me, no good for thee! There is no good
for little Pearl!"

"Woman, I could well-nigh pity thee!" said Roger Chillingworth.
"Peradventure, hadst thou met earlier with a better love than mine, this
evil had not been. I pity thee, for the good that has been wasted in thy
nature!"

"And I thee," answered Hester Prynne, "for the hatred that has
transformed a wise and just man to a fiend! Forgive, if not for his
sake, then doubly for thine own!"

"Peace, Hester, peace!" replied the old man with gloom. "It is not
granted me to pardon. It is our fate. Now go thy ways, and deal as thou
wilt with yonder man."


_IV.--Revelation_


A week later Hester Prynne waited in the forest for the minister as he
returned from a visit to his Indian converts. He walked slowly, and, as
he walked, kept his hand over his heart.

"Arthur Dimmesdale! Arthur Dimmesdale!" she cried out.

"Who speaks?" answered the minister. "Hester! Hester Prynne! Is it
thou?" He fixed his eyes upon her and added, "Hester, hast thou found
peace?"

"Hast thou?" she asked.

"None! Nothing but despair! What else could I look for, being what I am,
and leading such a life as mine?"

"You wrong yourself in this," said Hester gently. "Your sin is left
behind you, in the days long past. But Arthur, an enemy dwellest with
thee, under the same roof. That old man--the physician, whom they call
Roger Chillingworth--he was my husband! Forgive me. Let God punish!"

"I do forgive you, Hester," replied the minister. "May God forgive us
both!"

They sat down, hand clasped in hand, on the mossy trunk of a fallen
tree.

It was Hester who bade him hope, and spoke of seeking a new life beyond
the seas, in some rural village in Europe.

"Oh, Hester," cried Arthur Dimmesdale, "I lack the strength and courage
to venture out into the wide, strange world alone."

"Thou shalt not go alone!" she whispered. Before Mr. Dimmesdale reached
home he was conscious of a change of thought and feeling; Roger
Chillingworth observed the change, and knew that now in the minister's
regard he was no longer a trusted friend, but his bitterest enemy.

A New England holiday was at hand, the public celebration of the
election of a new governor, and the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale was to preach
the election sermon.

Hester had taken berths in a vessel that was about to sail; and then, on
the very day of holiday, the shipmaster told her that Roger
Chillingworth had also taken a berth in the same vessel.

Hester said nothing, but turned away, and waited in the crowded
market-place beside the pillory with Pearl, while the procession
re-formed after public worship. The street and the market-place
absolutely bubbled with applause of the minister, whose sermon had
surpassed all previous utterances.

At that moment Arthur Dimmesdale stood on the proudest eminence to which
a New England clergyman could be exalted. The minister, surrounded by
the leading men of the town, halted at the scaffold, and, turning
towards it, cried, "Hester, come hither! Come, my little Pearl!"

Leaning on Hester's shoulder, the minister, with the child's hand in
his, slowly ascended the scaffold steps.

"Is not this better," he murmured, "than what we dreamed of in the
forest? For, Hester, I am a dying man. So let me make haste to take my
shame upon me."

"I know not. I know not."

"Better? Yea; so we may both die, and little Pearl die with us."

He turned to the market-place and spoke with a voice that all could
hear.

"People of New England! At last, at last I stand where seven years since
I should have stood. Lo, the scarlet letter which Hester wears! Ye have
all shuddered at it! But there stood one in the midst of you, at whose
hand of sin and infamy ye have not shuddered! Stand any here that
question God's judgement on a sinner? Behold a dreadful witness of it!"

With a convulsive motion he tore away the ministerial gown from before
his breast. It was revealed! For an instant the multitude gazed with
horror on the ghastly miracle, while the minister stood with a flush of
triumph in his face. Then, down he sank upon the scaffold. Hester partly
raised him, and supported his head against her bosom. Old Roger
Chillingworth knelt beside him.

"Thou hast escaped me!" he repeated more than once.

"May God forgive thee!" said the minister. "Thou, too, hast deeply
sinned!"

He fixed his dying eyes on the woman and the child.

"My little Pearl," he said feebly, "thou wilt kiss me. Hester, farewell.
God knows, and He is merciful! His will be done! Farewell."

That final word came forth with the minister's expiring breath. The
multitude, silent till then, broke out in a strange, deep voice of awe
and wonder.

       *       *       *       *       *

After many days there was more than one account of what had been
witnessed on the scaffold. Most of the spectators testified to having
seen, on the breast of the unhappy minister, a scarlet letter imprinted
in the flesh. Others denied that there was any mark whatever on his
breast, more than on a new-born infant's. According to these highly
respectable witnesses the minister's confession implied no part of the
guilt of Hester Prynne, but was to teach us that we were all sinners
alike. Old Roger Chillingworth died and bequeathed his property to
little Pearl.

For years the mother and child lived in England, and then Pearl married,
and Hester returned alone to the little cottage by the forest.

       *       *       *       *       *




The House of the Seven Gables


     "The House of the Seven Gables," published in 1851, was
     written by Nathaniel Hawthorne directly after "The Scarlet
     Letter," and though not equal to that remarkable book, was
     full worthy of its author's reputation, and brought no
     disappointment to those who looked for great things from his
     pen. It seemed to James Russell Lowell "the highest art" to
     typify, "in the revived likeness of Judge Pyncheon to his
     ancestor the colonel, that intimate relationship between the
     present and the past in the way of ancestry and descent, which
     historians so carefully overlook." Here, as in "The Scarlet
     Letter," Hawthorne is unsparing in his analysis of the meaning
     of early American Puritanism--its intolerance and its
     strength.


_I.--The Old Pyncheon Family_


Half-way down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty
wooden house, with seven acutely-peaked gables, and a huge clustered
chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon Street; the house is the
old Pyncheon House; and an elm tree before the door is known as the
Pyncheon elm.

Pyncheon Street formerly bore the humbler appellation of Maule's Lane,
from the name of the original occupant of the soil, before whose cottage
door it was a cow-path. In the growth of the town, however, after some
thirty or forty years, the site covered by the rude hovel of Matthew
Maule (originally remote from the centre of the earlier village) had
become exceedingly desirable in the eyes of a prominent personage, who
asserted claims to the land on the strength of a grant from the
Legislature. Colonel Pyncheon, the claimant, was a man of iron energy of
purpose. Matthew Maule, though an obscure man, was stubborn in the
defense of what he considered his right. The dispute remained for years
undecided, and came to a close only with the death of old Matthew Maule,
who was executed for the crime of witchcraft.

It was remembered afterwards how loudly Colonel Pyncheon had joined in
the general cry to purge the land from witchcraft, and had sought
zealously the condemnation of Matthew Maule. At the moment of
execution--with the halter about his neck, and while Colonel Pyncheon
sat on horseback grimly gazing at the scene--Maule had addressed him
from the scaffold, and uttered a prophecy. "God," said the dying man,
pointing his finger at the countenance of his enemy, "God will give him
blood to drink!"

When it was understood that Colonel Pyncheon intended to erect a
spacious family mansion on the spot first covered by the log-built hut
of Matthew Maule the village gossips shook their heads, and hinted that
he was about to build his house over an unquiet grave.

But the Puritan soldier and magistrate was not a man to be turned aside
from his scheme by dread of the reputed wizzard's ghost. He dug his
cellar, and laid deep the foundations of his mansion; and the
head-carpenter of the House of the Seven Gables was no other than Thomas
Maule, the son of the dead man from whom the right to the soil had been
wrested.

On the day the house was finished Colonel Pyncheon bade all the town to
be his guests, and Maude's Lane--or Pyncheon Street, as it was now
called--was thronged at the appointed hour as with a congregation on its
way to church.

But the founder of the stately mansion did not stand in his own hall to
welcome the eminent persons who presented themselves in honour of the
solemn festival, and the principal domestic had to explain that his
master still remained in his study, which he had entered an hour before.

The lieutenant-governor took the matter into his hands, and knocked
boldly at the door of the colonel's private apartment, and, getting no
answer, he tried the door, which yielded to his hand, and was flung wide
open by a sudden gust of wind.

The company thronged to the now open door, pressing the
lieutenant-governor into the room before them.

A large map and a portrait of Colonel Pyncheon were conspicuous on the
walls, and beneath the portrait sat the colonel himself in an elbow
chair, with a pen in his hand.

A little boy, the colonel's grandchild, now made his way among the
guests, and ran towards the seated figure; then, pausing halfway, he
began to shriek with terror. The company drew nearer, and perceived that
there was blood on the colonel's cuff and on his beard, and an unnatural
distortion in his fixed stare. It was too late to render assistance. The
iron-hearted Puritan, the relentless persecutor, the grasping and
strong-willed man, was dead! Dead in his new house!

Colonel Pyncheon's sudden and mysterious end made a vast deal of noise
in its day. There were many rumours, and a great dispute of doctors over
the dead body. But the coroner's jury sat upon the corpse, and, like
sensible men, returned an unassailable verdict of "Sudden Death."

The son and heir came into immediate enjoyment of a considerable estate,
but a claim to a large tract of country in Waldo County, Maine, which
the colonel, had he lived, would undoubtedly have made good, was lost by
his decease. Some connecting link had slipped out of the evidence, and
could not be found. Still, from generation to generation, the Pyncheons
cherished an absurd delusion of family importance on the strength of
this impalpable claim; and from father to son they clung with tenacity
to the ancestral house for the better part of two centuries.

The most noted event in the Pyncheon annals in the last fifty years had
been the violent death of the chief member of the family--an old and
wealthy bachelor. One of his nephews, Clifford, was found guilty of the
murder, and was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment. This had happened
thirty years ago, and there were now rumours that the long-buried
criminal was about to be released. Another nephew had become the heir,
and was now a judge in an inferior court. The only members of the family
known to be extant, besides the judge and the thirty years' prisoner,
were a sister of the latter, wretchedly poor, who lived in the House of
the Seven Gables by the will of the old bachelor, and the judge's single
surviving son, now travelling in Europe. The last and youngest Pyncheon
was a little country girl of seventeen, whose father--another of the
judge's cousins--was dead, and whose mother had taken another husband.


_II.--The House without Sunshine_


Miss Hepzibah Pyncheon was reduced to the business of setting up a
pretty shop, and that in the Pyncheon house where she had spent all her
days. After sixty years of idleness and seclusion, she must earn her
bread or starve, and to keep shop was the only resource open to her.

The first customer to cross the threshold was a young man to whom old
Hepzibah let certain remote rooms in the House of the Seven Gables. He
explained that he had looked in to offer his best wishes, and to see if
he could give any assistance.

Poor Hepzibah, when she heard the kindly tone of his voice, began to
sob.

"Ah, Mr. Holgrave," she cried, "I never can go through with it! Never,
never, never! I wish I were dead in the old family tomb with all my
forefathers--yes, and with my brother, who had far better find me there
than here! I am too old, too feeble, and too hopeless! If old Maule's
ghost, or a descendant of his, could see me behind the counter to-day,
he would call it the fulfilment of his worst wishes. But I thank you for
your kindness, Mr. Holgrave, and will do my utmost to be a good
shopkeeper."

On Holgrave asking for half a dozen biscuits, Hepzibah put them into his
hand, but rejected the compensation.

"Let me be a lady a moment longer," she said, with a manner of antique
stateliness. "A Pyncheon must not--at all events, under her forefathers'
roof--receive money for a morsel of bread from her only friend."

As the day went on the poor lady blundered hopelessly with her
customers, and committed the most unheard-of errors, so that the whole
proceeds of her painful traffic amounted, at the close, to half a dozen
coppers.

That night the little country cousin, Phoebe Pyncheon, arrived at the
gloomy old house. Hepzibah knew that circumstances made it desirable for
the girl to establish herself in another home, but she was reluctant to
bid her stay.

"Phoebe," she said, on the following morning, "this house of mine is but
a melancholy place for a young person to be in. It lets in the wind and
rain, and the snow, too, in the winter time; but it never lets in the
sunshine! And as for myself, you see what I am--a dismal and lonesome
old woman, whose temper is none of the best, and whose spirits are as
bad as can be. I cannot make your life pleasant, Cousin Phoebe; neither
can I so much as give you bread to eat."

"You will find me a cheerful little body," answered Phoebe, smiling,
"and I mean to earn my bread. You know I have not been brought up a
Pyncheon. A girl learns many things in a New England village."

"Ah, Phoebe," said Hepzibah, sighing, "it is a wretched thought that you
should fling away your young days in a place like this. And, after all,
it is not even for me to say who shall be a guest or inhabitant of the
old Pyncheon house. Its master is coming."

"Do you mean Judge Pyncheon?" asked Phoebe, in surprise.

"Judge Pyncheon!" answered her cousin angrily. "He will hardly cross the
threshold while I live. You shall see the face of him I speak of."

She went in quest of a miniature, and returned and placed it in Phoebe's
hand.

"How do you like the face?" asked Hepzibah.

"It is handsome; it is very beautiful!" said Phoebe admiringly. "It is
as sweet a face as a man's can be or ought to be. Who is it, Cousin
Hepzibah?"

"Did you never hear of Clifford Pyncheon?"

"Never. I thought there were no Pyncheons left, except yourself and our
Cousin Jaffrey, the judge. And yet I seem to have heard the name of
Clifford Pyncheon. Yes, from my father, or my mother. But hasn't he been
dead a long while?"

"Well, well, child, perhaps he has," said Hepzibah, with a sad, hollow
laugh; "but in old houses like this, you know, dead people are very apt
to come back again. And, Cousin Phoebe, if your courage does not fail
you, we will not part soon. You are welcome to such a home as I can
offer you."


_III.--Miss Hepzibah's Guests_


The day after Phoebe's arrival there was a constant tremor in Hepzibah's
frame. With all her affection for a young cousin there was a recurring
irritability.

"Bear with me, my dear child!" she cried; "bear with me, for I love you,
Phoebe; and truly my heart is full to the brim! By-and-by I shall be
kind, and only kind."

"What has happened?" asked Phoebe. "What is it that moves you so?"

"Hush! He is coming!" whispered Hepzibah. "Let him see you first,
Phoebe; for you are young and rosy, and cannot help letting a smile
break out. He always liked bright faces. And mine is old now, and the
tears are hardly dry on it. Draw the curtain a little, but let there be
a good deal of sunshine, too. He has had but little sunshine in his
life, poor Clifford; and, oh, what a black shadow! Poor--poor Clifford!"

There was a step in the passage-way, above stairs. It seemed to Phoebe
the same that she had heard in the night, as in a dream. Very slowly the
steps came downstairs, and paused for a long time at the door.

Hepzibah, unable to endure the suspense, rushed forward, threw open the
door, and led in the stranger by the hand. At the first glance Phoebe
saw an elderly man, in an old-fashioned dressing gown, with grey hair,
almost white, of an unusual length. The expression of his countenance
seemed to waver, glimmer, and nearly to die away, and feebly to recover
itself again.

"Dear Clifford," said Hepzibah, "this is our Cousin Phoebe, Arthur's
only child, you know. She has come from the country to stay with us a
while, for our old house has grown to be very lonely now."

"Phoebe? Arthur's child?" repeated the guest. "Ah, I forget! No matter.
She is very welcome." He seated himself in the place assigned him, and
looked strangely around. His eyes met Hepzibah's, and he seemed
bewildered and disgusted. "Is this you, Hepzibah?" he murmured sadly.
"How changed! how changed!"

"There is nothing but love here, Clifford," Hepzibah said
softly--"nothing but love. You are at home."

The guest responded to her tone by a smile, which but half lit up his
face. It was followed by a coarser expression, and he ate his food with
fierce voracity and asked for "more--more!"

That day Phoebe attended to the shop, and the second person to enter it
was a gentleman of portly figure and high respectability.

"I was not aware that Miss Hepzibah Pyncheon had commenced business
under such favourable auspices," he said, in a deep voice, "You are her
assistant, I suppose?"

"I certainly am," answered Phoebe. "I am a cousin of Miss Hepzibah, on a
visit to her."

"Her cousin, and from the country?" said the gentleman, bowing and
smiling. "In that case we must be better acquainted, for you are my own
little kinswoman likewise. Let me see, you must be Phoebe, the only
child of my dear Cousin Arthur. I am your kinsman, my dear. Surely you
must have heard of Judge Pyncheon?"

Phoebe curtsied, and the judge bent forward to bestow a kiss on his
young relative. But Phoebe drew back; there was something repulsive to
her in the judge's demonstration, and on raising her eyes she was
startled by the change in Judge Pyncheon's face. It had become cold,
hard, and immitigable.

"Dear me! What is to be done now?" thought the country girl to herself.
"He looks as if there were nothing softer in him than a rock, nor milder
than the east wind."

Then all at once it struck Phoebe that this very Judge Pyncheon was the
original of a miniature which Mr. Holgrave--who took portraits, and
whose acquaintance she had made within a few hours of her arrival--had
shown her yesterday. There was the same hard, stern, relentless look on
the face. In reality, the miniature was copied from an old portrait of
Colonel Pyncheon which hung within the house. Was it that the expression
had been transmitted down as a precious heirloom, from that Puritan
ancestor, in whose picture both the expression, and, to a singular
degree, the features, of the modern judge were shown as by a kind of
prophecy?

But as it happened, scarcely had Phoebe's eyes rested again on the
judge's countenance than all its ugly sternness vanished, and she found
herself almost overpowered by the warm benevolence of his look. But the
fantasy would not quit her that the original Puritan, of whom she had
heard so many sombre traditions, had now stepped into the shop.

"You seem to be a little nervous this morning," said the judge. "Has
anything happened to disturb you--anything remarkable in Cousin
Hepzibah's family--an arrival, eh? I thought so! To be an inmate with
such a guest may well startle an innocent young girl!"

"You quite puzzle me, sir!" replied Phoebe. "There is no frightful guest
in the house, but only a poor, gentle, child-like man, whom I believe to
be Cousin Hepzibah's brother. I am afraid that he is not quite in his
sound senses; but so mild he seems to be that a mother might trust her
baby with him. He startle me? Oh, no, indeed!"

"I rejoice to hear so favourable and so ingenious an account of my
Cousin Clifford," said the benevolent judge. "It is possible that you
have never heard of Clifford Pyncheon, and know nothing of his history.
But is Clifford in the parlour? I will just step in and see him. There
is no need to announce me. I know the house, and know my Cousin
Hepzibah, and her brother Clifford likewise. Ah, there is Hepzibah
herself!"

Such was the case. The vibrations of the judge's voice had reached the
old gentlewoman in the parlour, where Clifford sat slumbering in his
chair.

"He cannot see you," said Hepzibah, with quivering voice. "He cannot see
visitors."

"A visitor--do you call me so?" cried the judge. "Then let me be
Clifford's host, and your own likewise. Come at once to my house. I have
often invited you before. Come, and we will labour together to make
Clifford happy."

"Clifford has a home here," she answered.

"Woman," broke out the judge, "what is the meaning of all this? Have you
other resources? Take care, Hepzibah, take care! Clifford is on the
brink of as black a ruin as ever befel him yet!"

From within the parlour sounded a tremulous, wailing voice, indicating
helpless alarm.

"Hepzibah!" cried the voice. "Entreat him not to come in. Go down on
your knees to him. Oh, let him have mercy on me! Mercy!"

The judge withdrew, and Hepzibah, deathly white, staggered towards
Phoebe.

"That man has been the horror of my life," she murmured. "Shall I never
have courage enough to tell him what he is?"


_IV.--The Spell is Broken_


The shop thrived under Phoebe's management, and the acquaintance with
Mr. Holgrave ripened into friendship.

Then, after some weeks, Phoebe went away on a temporary visit to her
mother, and the old house, which had been brightened by her presence,
was once more dark and gloomy.

It was during this absence of Phoebe's that Judge Pyncheon once more
called and demanded to see Clifford.

"You cannot see him," answered Hepzibah. "Clifford has kept his bed
since yesterday."

"What! Clifford ill!" said the judge, starting. "Then I must, and will
see him!"

The judge explained the reason for his urgency. He believed that
Clifford could give the clue to the dead uncle's wealth, of which not
more than a half had been mentioned in his will. If Clifford refused to
reveal where the missing documents were placed, the judge declared he
would have him confined in a public asylum as a lunatic, for there were
many witnesses of Clifford's simple childlike ways.

"You are stronger than I," said Hepzibah, "and you have no pity in your
strength. Clifford is not now insane; but the interview which you insist
upon may go far to make him so. Nevertheless, I will call Clifford!"

Hepzibah went in search of her brother, and Judge Pyncheon flung himself
down in an old chair in the parlour. He took his watch from his pocket
and held it in his hand. But Clifford was not in his room, nor could
Hepzibah find him. She returned to the parlour, calling out to the judge
as she came, to rise and help find Clifford.

But the judge never moved, and Clifford appeared at the door, pointing
his finger at the judge, and laughing with strange excitement.

"Hepzibah," he said, "we can dance now! We can sing, laugh, play, do
what we will! The weight is gone, Hepzibah--gone off this weary old
world, and we may be as lighthearted as little Phoebe herself! What an
absurd figure the old fellow cuts now, just when he fancied he had me
completely under his thumb!"

Then the brother and sister departed hastily from the house, and left
Judge Pyncheon sitting in the old house of his forefathers.

Phoebe and Holgrave were in the house together when the brother and
sister returned, and Holgrave had told her of the judge's sudden death.
Then, in that hour so full of doubt and awe, the one miracle was
wrought, without which every human existence is a blank, and the bliss
which makes all things true, beautiful, and holy shone around this youth
and maiden. They were conscious of nothing sad or old.

Presently the voices of Clifford and Hepzibah were heard at the door,
and when they entered Clifford appeared the stronger of the two.

"It is our own little Phoebe! Ah! And Holgrave with her!" he exclaimed.
"I thought of you both as we came down the street. And so the flower of
Eden has bloomed even in this old, darksome house to-day."

A week after the judge's death news came of the death of his son, and so
Hepzibah became rich, and so did Clifford, and so did Phoebe, and,
through her, Holgrave.

It was far too late for the formal vindication of Clifford's character
to be worth the trouble and anguish involved. For the truth was that the
uncle had died by a sudden stroke, and the judge, knowing this, had let
suspicion and condemnation fall on Clifford, only because he had himself
been busy among the dead man's papers, destroying a later will made out
in Clifford's favour, and because it was found the papers had been
disturbed, to avert suspicion from the real offender he had let the
blame fall on his cousin.

Clifford was content with the love of his sister and Phoebe and
Holgrave. The good opinion of society was not worth publicly reclaiming.

It was Holgrave who discovered the missing document the judge had set
his heart on obtaining.

"And now, my dearest Phoebe," said Holgrave, "how will it please you to
assume the name of Maule? In this long drama of wrong and retribution I
represent the old wizzard, and am probably as much of a wizzard as ever
my ancestor was."

Then, with Hepzibah and Clifford, Phoebe and Holgrave left the old house
for ever.

       *       *       *       *       *




ROBERT HICHENS


The Garden of Allah


     The son of a clergyman, Mr. Robert Smythe Hichens, born at
     Speldhurst, Kent, England, on November 14, 1864, was
     originally intended to follow a musical career, but after some
     years abandoned music for journalism. His first long novel was
     written and published at the age of seventeen. It attracted
     little or no attention, and has long been out of print. A trip
     to Egypt in 1893 resulted in a burning desire to become a
     novelist, and his brilliant satire, "The Green Carnation,"
     followed. The book was written in a month, and at once
     established its author's name and fame. "The Garden of Allah,"
     of all Mr. Hichens' works the most typical of his genius,
     appeared in 1905. "The intellectual grip of the story," says
     one critic, "cannot be denied, for it completely conquers the
     critical sense, and the ideas of the author insinuate
     themselves, as it were, among one's inmost thoughts." Yet Mr.
     Hichens' stories are popular, not only with literary
     connoisseurs, but also with the general public, inasmuch as
     they owe their fascination not so much to an extreme
     refinement of art as to their freshness of imagination and
     dramatic intensity. This epitome of the "Garden of Allah" has
     been prepared by Mr. Hichens himself.


_I.--The Home of Peace_


On an autumn evening, Domini Enfilden leaned on the parapet of a
verandah of the Hotel du Desert at Beni-Mora, in Southern Algeria,
gazing towards the great Sahara, which was lit up by the glory of
sunset. The bell of the Catholic Church chimed. She heard the throbbing
of native drums in the village near by. Tired with her long journey from
England, she watched and listened while the twilight crept among the
palms, and the sandy alleys grew dark.

Thirty-two, an orphan, unmarried, strong, fearless, ardent, but a deeply
religious woman and a Catholic, Domini had passed through much mental
agony. Her mother, Lady Rens, a member of one of England's oldest
Catholic families, but half Hungarian on the mother's side, had run away
when Domini was nineteen with a Hungarian musician, leaving her only
child with her despairing and abandoned husband. Lord Rens had become a
Catholic out of love for his wife. When he was deserted by her, he
furiously renounced his faith, and eventually died blaspheming. In vain
through many years he had tried to detach his daughter from the religion
of her guilty mother, now long since dead. Domini had known how to
resist; but the cruel contest had shaken her body and soul.

Now free, alone, she had left England to begin a new life far away from
the scene of her misery. Vaguely she had thought of the great desert,
called by the Arabs "The Garden of Allah," as the home of peace. She had
travelled there to find peace. That day, at the gate of the desert, she
had met a traveller, Doris Androvsky, a man of about thirty-six,
powerfully built, tanned by the sun. When she was about to get into the
train at the station of El Akbara this man had rudely sprung in before
her. The train had begun to move, and Domini had sprung into it almost
at the risk of her life. Androvsky had not offered to help her, had not
said a word of apology. His _gaucherie_ had almost revolted Domini.
Nevertheless, something powerful, mournful, passionate, and sincere in
his personality had affected her, roused her interest.

Silently they had come into the desert together, strangers, almost at
enmity the one with the other. They were now staying in the same hotel
in this oasis in the desert of Sahara.

In coming to the hotel, Domini had seen a curious incident. Androvsky,
with a guide who carried his bag, was walking before her down the long
public garden, when in the distance there appeared the black figure of
the priest of Beni-Mora advancing slowly towards them. When Androvsky
saw the priest he had stopped short, hesitated, then, despite the
protests of his guide, had abruptly turned down a side path and hurried
away. He had fled from the man of prayer.

Now, as the twilight fell, Domini thought of this incident, and when she
heard Androvsky's heavy tread upon the stairs of the verandah, the sharp
closing of the French window of his room, she was filled with a vague
uneasiness.

Next day she visited a wonderful garden on the edge of the desert
belonging to a Count Anteoni, a recluse who loved the Arabs and spent
much of his time among them. There, standing with the count by the
garden wall at the hour of the Mohammedan's prayer, she had seen
Androvsky again. He was in the desert with a Nomad. The cry of the
_muezzin_ went up to the brazen sky. The Nomad fell on his knees and
prayed. Androvsky started, gazed, shrank back, then turned and strode
away like one horrified by some grievous vision. Domini said to the
count, "I have just seen a man flee from prayer; it was horrible."

He answered her, very gravely, "The man who is afraid of prayer is
unwise to set foot beyond the palm-trees, for the desert is the garden
of Allah."

That evening Domini and Androvsky spoke to each other for the first
time, on the top of a tower where they had come to see the sunset.
Domini spoke first, moved by a strange look of loneliness, of
desolation, in Androvsky's eyes. He replied in a low voice, and asked
her pardon for his rude conduct at the station. Then, abruptly, he
descended the tower and disappeared.

At night she visited a dancing house to see the strange dances of the
desert. She found Androvsky there, watching the painted women as if half
fascinated, half horrified by them. Irena, a girl who had been banished
from Beni-Mora for threatening to murder an Arab of whom she was
jealous, but had been permitted to return, discovering him among the
audience, stabbed him. There was a violent scene, during which
Androvsky, forcing his way through the desert men, protected Domini from
the crush. The crowd rushed out, leaving them alone together. Androvsky
insisted on escorting Domini back to the hotel.


_II.--Defying Allah in Allah's Garden_


The acquaintance thus unconventionally began between them continued, and
ripened into a strange friendship. Domini was a magnificent horsewoman.
Finding that Androvsky did not know how to ride, she gave him lessons.
Together they galloped over the desert sands; together they visited the
Saharan villages, hidden in the groves of date palms behind the brown
earthen walls of the oasis; together watched the burning sunsets of
Africa; at meal-times they met in the hotel; in the evenings they sat
upon the verandah, and heard the Zouaves singing in chorus, the distant
murmur of the tom-toms.

Domini became profoundly interested in Androvsky, but her interest was
complicated by wonder at his peculiarities, at his uncouth manners, his
strange silences, his ignorance of life and of social matters, his
distrust of others, his desire to keep aloof from all human beings,
except herself. The good priest, now her intimate friend, Count Anteoni,
also her friend and respectful admirer, were ill at ease with him. He
had tried to avoid them, but Domini, anxious to bring some pleasure into
his life, had introduced him to them at a luncheon given by the count in
his garden, despite Androvsky's dogged assertion that he disliked
priests, and did not care for social intercourse.

At this lunch Androvsky had been brusque, on the defensive, almost
actively disagreeable. And when, after the priest's departure, he left
Domini alone with Count Anteoni, she felt almost relieved. Count Anteoni
summoned a sand-diviner to read Domini's fate in the sand. This man--a
thin, fanatical Eastern, with piercing and cruel eyes--spread out his
sand brought from the tomb of a Mohammedan saint, and prophesied. He
declared that he saw a great sand-storm, and in it a train of camels
waiting by a church. From the church came the sound of music, nearly
drowned by the roar of the wind. In the church the real life of Domini
was beginning. The music ceased; darkness fell. Then the diviner saw
Domini, with a companion, mounted on one of the camels, and disappearing
into the storm towards the south. The face of her companion was hidden.
Finally he saw Domini far out in the desert among great dunes of white
sand. In her heart there was joy. It was as if all the date palms bore
their fruit together, and in all the desert places water-springs burst
forth. But presently a figure came towards her, walking heavily; and all
the dates shrivelled upon the palms, and all the springs dried up.
Sorrow and terror were there beside her.

At this point in the diviner's prophecy Domini stopped him. Afterwards
she explained to Anteoni that she felt as if another's fate was being
read in it as well as her own, as if to listen any more might be to
intrude upon another's secret.

Upon the following day Anteoni left Beni-Mora to make a long desert
journey to a sacred city called Amara. Domini went to his garden at dawn
to see him off. Before departing he warned Domini to beware of
Androvsky. She asked him why. He answered that Androvsky seemed to him a
man who was at odds with life, with himself, with his Creator, a man who
was defying Allah in Allah's garden. When Anteoni had gone, Domini, in
some perplexity of spirit, and moved by a longing for sympathy and help,
visited the priest in his house near the church. The priest, indirectly,
also warned her against Androvsky, and a little later frankly, told her
that he felt an invincible dislike to him.

"I have no reason to give," said the priest. "My instinct is my reason.
I feel it my duty to say that I advise you most earnestly to break off
your acquaintance with Monsieur Androvsky."

Domini said, "It is strange; ever since I have been here I have felt as
if everything that has happened had been arranged beforehand, as if it
had to happen, and I feel that, too, about the future."

"Count Anteoni's fatalism!" exclaimed the priest. "It is the guiding
spirit of this land. And you, too, are going to be led by it. Take care!
You have come to a land of fire, and I think you are made of fire."

The warnings of Anteoni and the priest made an impression on Domini. She
was conscious of how the outside world would be likely to regard her
acquaintance with Androvsky. Suddenly she saw Androvsky as some strange
and ghastly figure of legend; as the wandering Jew met by a traveller at
cross roads, and distinguished for an instant by an oblique flash of
lightning; as the shrouded Arab of the Eastern tale, who announces
coming disaster to the wanderers in the desert by beating a death-roll
on a drum amid the sands.

And she felt upon her the heavy hand of some strange, perhaps terrible,
fate.


_III.--The Eternal Song of Love_


That same night, accompanied by Batouch, Domini rode out into the desert
to see the rising of the moon, and there met Androvsky. He had followed
them on horseback. Domini dismissed Batouch at Androvsky's reiterated
request. When they were alone in the sands, Androvsky told Domini that
he had needed to be with her as he had something to tell her. On the
morrow he was going away from Beni-Mora.

His face, while he said this, was turned from Domini, and his voice
sounded as if it spoke to some one at a distance, some one who can hear
as man cannot hear.

Domini said little. But at the sound of his words it seemed to her as if
all outside things she had ever known had foundered; as if with them had
foundered, too, all the bodily powers that were of the essence of her
life. And the desert, which she had so loved, was no longer to her the
desert, sand with a soul in it, blue distances full of a music of
summons, but only a barren waste of dried-up matter, featureless,
desolate, ghastly with the bones of things that had died.

She rode back with Androvsky to Beni-Mora in a silence like that of
death.

But this parting, decreed by the man, was not to be. In the desert these
two human beings had grown to love each other, with a love that had
become a burning passion. And next day when, in the garden of Count
Anteoni, Androvsky came to say farewell to Domini, his love broke all
barriers. He sank on the sand, letting his hands slip down till they
clasped Domini's knees.

"I love you!" he said. "I love you. But don't listen to me. You mustn't
hear it. You mustn't. But I must say it. I can't go till I say it. I
love you! I love you!"

"I am listening," she said. "I must hear it."

Androvsky rose up, put his hands behind Domini, held her, set his lips
on hers, pressing his whole body against hers.

"Hear it!" he said, muttering against her lips. "Hear it! I love you! I
love you!"

In the recesses of the garden Larbi, that idle gardener, played upon his
little flute his eternal song of love, and from the desert, beyond the
white wall, there rose an Arab's voice singing a song of the Sahara, "No
one but God and I knows what is in my heart!"


_IV.--A Nomad's Honeymoon_


As the sand-diviner had foretold, Domini and Androvsky were married in
the church of Beni-Mora, and by the priest who had warned Domini to have
nothing more to do with Androvsky. A terrible sand-storm was raging, and
the desert was blotted out. Nevertheless, when the ceremony was over,
the bride and bridegroom mounted upon a camel, and with their
attendants, set out for their desert honeymoon. Standing before the door
of the church, the good priest watched them go, with fear in his heart,
and that night in his humble home, kneeling before his crucifix, he
prayed long and earnestly for all wanderers in the desert.

Isolated from all who knew them, free from all social ties, nomads, as
are the Bedouins who make their dwelling for ever amid the vast and
burning sands, Domini and Androvsky entered upon their married life. And
at first one of them was happy as few are ever happy. Domini loved
completely, trusted completely, lived with a fulness, a completeness she
had never known till now. That Androvsky almost worshipped her, she
knew. His conduct to her was perfect. And yet there were times when
Domini felt as if a shadow rose between them, as if, even with her, in
some secret place of his soul Androvsky was ill at ease, as if sometimes
he suffered, and dared not tell his suffering.

One day, in their wanderings, they came to a desolate place called
Mogar, and camped on a sandhill looking over a vast stretch of dunes.
Towards evening Androvsky descended into the plain to shoot gazelle,
leaving Domini alone. While he was away a French officer, with two men
of the Zouaves, rode slowly up. They were nearly starving and terribly
exhausted, having been lost in a sand-storm for three days and nights.

Pitying their sufferings, Domini insisted on entertaining them. The men
must sup with the Arabs, the officer must dine with herself and
Androvsky. The officer accepted with gratitude, and went off to make his
toilet. When Androvsky returned, Domini told him of the officer's
arrival, and when he saw the three places laid for dinner in the tent,
he seemed profoundly disturbed. He asked the officer's name. Domini told
him Trevignac.

"Trevignac!" he exclaimed.

Then, hearing the soldiers coming, he turned away; abruptly and
disappeared into the bedroom tent.

Trevignac came up, and in a few minutes Androvsky reappeared. The two
men gazed at each other for an instant. Then Domini introduced them, and
they all sat down to dinner. Conversation was uneasy. Androvsky was
evidently ill at ease; Trevignac was distrait at moments, strangely
watchful of his host at other moments. Dinner over, Domini left the two
men together to smoke, and went out on to the sand. She met an Arab
carrying coffee and a liqueur to the tent.

"What's that, Ouardi?" she asked, touching the bottle.

He told her it was an African liqueur.

"Take it in," she said.

And she strolled away to the bonfire to listen to the fantasia the Arabs
were making in honour of the soldiers.

When she returned to the tent, she found her husband alone in it,
standing up, with a quantity of fragments of glass lying at his feet.
Near him was the coffee, untasted. Trevignac was gone. She asked for an
explanation. He gave her none. The fragments of glass were all that
remained of the bottle which had contained the liqueur.

At dawn Domini met Trevignac riding away with his soldiers. He saluted
her, bidding his men ride on. As he gazed at her, she seemed to see
horror in his eyes. Twice he tried to speak, but apparently could not
bring himself to do so. He looked towards the tent where Androvsky was
sleeping, then at Domini; then, as if moved by an irresistible impulse,
he leaned from his saddle, made over Domini the sign of the cross, and
rode away into the desert.


_V.--I Have Insulted God_


From that day Androvsky's strange misery of the soul, strange horror of
the world, increased. Domini felt that he was secretly tormented. She
tried to make him happier; she even told him that she believed he often
felt far away from God, and that she prayed each day for him.

"Boris," she said, "if it's that, don't be too sad. It may all come
right in the desert. For the desert is the garden of Allah."

He made her no answer.

At last in their journeying they came to the sacred city of Amara, and
camped in the white sands beyond it.

This was the place described by the sand-diviner, and here Domini knew
that her love was to be crowned, that she would become a mother. She
hesitated to tell her husband, for in this place his misery and fear of
men seemed mounting to a climax. Nevertheless, as if in a frantic
attempt to get the better of his mental torture, he had gone off, saying
he wanted to see the city.

While he was away, Domini was visited first by Count Anteoni, who told
her that he had joined the Mohammedan religion, and was at last happy
and at peace; secondly, when night had fallen, by the priest of Amara.
This man was talkative and genial, fond of the good things of life.
Domini offered him a cigar. He accepted it. An Arab brought coffee, and
the same African liqueur which had been taken to the tent on the night
when Trevignac had dined with Domini and Androvsky.

When the priest was about to drink some of it, he suddenly paused, and
put the glass down. Domini leant forward.

"Louarine," she said, reading the name on the bottle. "Won't you have
some?"

"The fact is, madame," began the priest, with hesitation, "this liqueur
comes from the Trappist monastery of El Largani."

"Yes?"

"It was made by a monk and priest to whom the secret of its manufacture
belonged. At his death he was to confide the secret to another whom he
had chosen. But the monks of El Largani will never earn another franc by
Louarine when what they have in stock is exhausted."

"The monk died suddenly?"

"Madame, he ran away from the monastery after being there in the eternal
silence for twenty years, after taking the final vows."

"How horrible!" said Domini. "That man must be in hell now, in the hell
a man can make for himself by his own act."

As she spoke, Androvsky appeared by the tent door. He was looking
frightfully ill, and like a desperate man. When the priest had gone,
Domini told Androvsky about the liqueur and the disappearance of the
Trappist monk. As she spoke, his face grew more ghastly. He stood rigid,
as if with horror.

"Poor, poor man!" she said, as she finished her story.

"You--you pity that man then?" murmured Androvsky.

"Yes," she replied. "I was thinking of the agony he must be enduring if
he is still alive."

Androvsky seemed painfully moved, and almost as if he were on the verge
of some passionate outburst of emotion; and something like a deep voice
far down in the loving heart of Domini said to her, "If you really love,
be fearless. Attack the sorrow which stands like a figure of death
between you and your husband. Drive it away. You have a weapon--faith--
use it!"

At last she summoned all her courage, all her faith, and she forced from
Androvsky the confession of what it was which held him in perpetual
misery, even in freedom, even with her, whom he loved beyond and above
all human beings.

"Domini," he said, "you want to know what it is that makes me unhappy
even in our love--desperately unhappy. It is this. I believe in God, I
love God, I have insulted God. I have tried to forget God, to deny Him,
to put human love higher than love for Him. But always I am haunted by
the thought of God, and that thought makes me despair. Once, when I was
young, I gave myself to God solemnly. I have broken the vows I made! I
gave myself to God as a monk."

"You are the Trappist!" she whispered. "You are the monk from the
monastery of El Largani who disappeared after twenty years?"

"Yes," he said, "I am he."

Standing there in the sands, while the world was wrapped in sleep,
Androvsky told Domini the whole story of his life in the monastery, of
his innocent happiness there, and of the events which woke up within him
the mad longing to see life and the world, and to know the love of
woman. He told her of his secret departure by night from the monastery,
of his journey to the desert in search of complete and savage liberty.
He told her how he had fought against his growing love for her, how he
had tried to leave her; how, at the last moment in the garden by night,
his passion for her had conquered him and driven him to her feet. He
told her how the officer, Trevignac, had known him long ago in the
monastery, and had recognised him when the Arab brought in the liqueur
which he had made. He kept nothing from her.

"That last day in the garden," he said finally, "I thought I had
conquered myself, and it was in that moment that I fell for ever. When I
knew you loved me, I could fight no more. You have seen me, you have
lived with me, you have divined my misery. But don't think, Domini, that
it ever came from you. It was the consciousness of my lie to you, my lie
to God, that--that--I can't tell you--I can't tell you--you know."

He looked into her face, then turned to go away into the desert.

"I'll go! I'll go!" he muttered.

Then Domini spoke.

"Boris!" she said.

He stopped.

"Boris, now at last you can pray."

She went into the tent, and left him alone. He knew that in the tent she
was praying for him. He stood, trying to listen to her prayer, then,
with an uncertain hand, he felt in his breast. He drew out a wooden
cross, given to him by his mother when he entered the monastery. He bent
down his head, touched it with his lips, and fell upon his knees in the
desert.

From that night, Domini realised that her duty was plain before her.
Androvsky was still at heart a monk, and she was a fervently religious
woman. She put God above herself, above her poor, desperate, human love,
above Androvsky and his passionate love for her. She put the things of
eternity before the things of time. She never told Androvsky of the
child that was coming.

After he had made his confession to the priest of Beni-Mora who had
married them, she led him to the monastery door, and there they parted
for ever on earth, to be reunited, as both believed, in heaven.

And now, in the garden of Count Anteoni, which has passed into other
hands, a little boy may often be seen playing.

Sometimes, when twilight is falling over the Sahara, his mother calls
him to her, to the white wall from which she looks out over the desert.

"Listen, Boris," she whispers.

The little boy leans his face against her breast, and obeys.

An Arab is passing below on the desert track, singing to himself, as he
goes towards his home in the oasis, "No one but God and I knows what is
in my heart."

The mother whispers the words to herself. The cool wind of the night
blows over the vast spaces of the Sahara and touches her cheek,
reminding her of her glorious days of liberty, of the passion that came
to her soul like fire in the desert.

But she does not rebel, for always, when night falls, she sees the form
of a man praying, one who once fled from prayer in the desert; she sees
a wanderer who at last has reached his home.

       *       *       *       *       *




OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES


Elsie Venner


     Oliver Wendell Holmes, essayist, poet, scientist, and one of
     the most lovable men who have adorned the literature of the
     English tongue, was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, Aug. 29,
     1809, of a New England family with a record in which he took
     great pride. After studying medicine at Harvard, he went to
     Europe on a prolonged tour, and, returning, took his M.D., and
     became a popular professor of anatomy. He had some repute as a
     graceful poet in his student days. "Elsie Venner," at first
     called "The Professor's Story," was published in 1861, and was
     the first sustained work of fiction that came from the pen of
     Oliver Wendell Holmes. Illumined by admirable pictures of life
     and character in a typical New England town, the book itself
     is a remarkable study of heredity--a study only relieved by
     the author's kindly humour. The unfortunate child, doomed
     before her birth to suffer from the fatal bite of a
     rattlesnake--an incident unduly extravagant in some critics'
     opinions--and only throwing off the evil influence on her
     death-bed, is one of the most pathetic figures in all American
     literature. It was not until seven years later that "Elsie
     Venner" was followed by another novel, "The Guardian Angel," a
     story which is worked out on the same lines of thought as the
     former. Holmes died on October 7, 1894.


_I.--The Eyes of Elsie Venner_


Mr. Bernard Langdon, duly certificated, had accepted the invitation from
the Board of Trustees of the Apollinean Female Institute, a school for
the education of young ladies, situated in the nourishing town of
Rockland.

Rockland is at the foot of a mountain, and a horrible feature of this
mountain was the region known as Rattlesnake Ledge, which was still
tenanted by those horrible reptiles in spite of many a foray by the
townspeople.

That the brood was not extirpated there was a melancholy proof in the
year 184--, when a young married woman, detained at home by the state of
her health, was bitten in the entry of her own house by a rattlesnake
which had found its way down from the mountain. Owing to the almost
instant employment of powerful remedies, the bite did not prove
immediately fatal, but she died within a few months of the time when she
was bitten.

It was on a fine morning that Mr. Langdon made his appearance, as master
for the English branches, in the great school-room of the Apollinean
Institute. The principal, Mr. Silas Peckham, carried him to the desk of
the young lady assistant, Miss Darley by name, and introduced him to
her. The young lady assistant had to point out to the new master the
whole routine of the classes, and Mr. Langdon had a great many questions
to ask relating to his new duties. The truth is, the general effect of
the school-room, with its scores of young girls, was enough to confuse a
young man like Mr. Langdon, and he may be pardoned for asking Miss
Darley questions about his scholars as well as about their lessons.

He asked who one or two girls were, and being answered, went on, "And
who and what is that sitting a little apart there--that strange,
wild-looking girl?"

The lady teacher's face changed; one would have said she was frightened
or troubled. The girl did not look up; she was winding a gold chain
about her wrist, and then uncoiling it as if in a kind of reverie. Miss
Darley drew close to the master, and placed her hand so as to hide her
lips.

"Don't look at her as if we were talking about her," she whispered
softly, "that is Elsie Venner."

A girl of about seventeen, tall, slender, was Elsie Venner. Black,
piercing eyes, black hair, twisted in heavy braids, a face that one
could not help looking at for its beauty, yet that one wanted to look
away from, and could not, for those diamond eyes.

Those eyes were fixed on the lady teacher one morning not long after
Langdon's arrival. Miss Darley turned her own away, and let them wander
over the other scholars. But the diamond eyes were on her still. She
turned the leaves of several of her books, and finally, following some
ill-defined impulse which she could not resist, left her place, and went
to the young girl's desk.

"What do you want of me, Elsie Venner?" It was a strange question to
put, for the girl had not signified that she wished the teacher to come
to her.

"Nothing," she cried. "I thought I could make you come." The girl spoke
in a low tone, a kind of half-whisper.

Bernard Langdon experienced the power of those diamond eyes one
particular day that summer.

He had made up his mind to explore the dreaded Rattlesnake Ledge of the
mountain, to examine the rocks, and perhaps to pick up an adventure in
the zoological line; for he had on a pair of high, stout boots, and he
carried a stick in his hand.

High up on one of the precipitous walls of rock he saw some tufts of
flowers, and knew them for flowers Elsie Venner had brought into the
school-room. Presently on a natural platform where he sat down to rest,
he found a hairpin.

He rose up from his seat to look round for other signs of a woman's
visits, and walked to the mouth of a cavern and looked into it. His look
was met by the glitter of two diamond eyes, shining out of the darkness,
but gliding with a smooth, steady motion towards the light, and himself.
He stood fixed, struck dumb, staring back into them with dilating pupils
and sudden numbness of fear that cannot move. The two sparks of light
came forward until they grew to circles of flame, and all at once lifted
themselves up as if in angry surprise.

Then, for the first time, thrilled in Mr. Bernard's ears the dreadful
sound that nothing which breathes can hear unmoved--the long, singing
whir, as the huge, thick-bodied reptile shook his many-jointed rattle.
He waited as in a trance; and while he looked straight into the flaming
eyes, it seemed to him that they were losing their light and terror,
that they were growing tame and dull. The charm was dissolving, the
numbness passing away, he could move once more. He heard a light
breathing close to his ear, and, half turning, saw the face of Elsie
Venner, looking motionless into the reptile's eyes, which had shrunk and
faded under the stronger enchantment of her own.

From that time Mr. Bernard was brought into new relations with Elsie. He
was grateful; she had led him out of danger, and perhaps saved him from
death, but he shuddered at the recollection of the whole scene. He made
up his mind that, come what might, he would solve the mystery of Elsie
Venner, sooner or later.


_II.--Cousin Richard Venner_


Richard Venner had passed several of his early years with his uncle
Dudley Venner at the Dudley mansion, the playmate of Elsie, being her
cousin, two or three years older than herself. His mother was a lady of
Buenos Ayres, of Spanish descent, and had died while he was in his
cradle. A self-willed, capricious boy, he was a rough playmate for
Elsie.

But Elsie was the wilder of these two motherless children. Old Sophy--
said to be the granddaughter of a cannibal chief--who watched them in
their play and their quarrels, always seemed to be more afraid for the
boy than the girl.

"Massa Dick, don' you be too rough wi' dat girl! She scratch you las'
week, 'n' some day she bite you; 'n' if she bite you, Massa Dick----"
Old Sophy nodded her head ominously, as if she could say a great deal
more.

Elsie's father, whose fault was to indulge her in everything, found that
it would never do to let these children grow up together. A sharper
quarrel than usual decided this point. Master Dick forgot old Sophy's
caution, and vexed the girl into a paroxysm of wrath, in which she
sprang at him, and bit his arm. Old Dr. Kettredge was sent for, and came
at once when he heard what had happened.

He had a good deal to say about the danger there was from the teeth of
animals or of human beings when enraged, and he emphasised his remarks
by the application of a pencil of lunar caustic to each of the marks
left by the sharp white teeth.

After this Master Dick went off on his travels, which led him into
strange places and stranger company; and so the boy grew up to youth and
early manhood.

There came a time when the young gentleman thought he would like to see
his cousin again, and wrote inviting himself to the Dudley mansion.

Doctor Kettredge could see no harm in the visit when Dudley Venner
consulted him. Her father was never easy about Elsie. He could not tell
the old doctor _all_ he knew. In God's good time he believed his only
daughter would come to her true nature; her eyes would lose that
frightful, cold glitter, and that faint birth-mark which encircled her
neck--her mother swooned when she first saw it--would fade wholly out.

"Let her go to the girls' school, by all means," the doctor had said,
when that was first talked about. "Anything to interest her. Friendship,
love, religion--whatever will set her nature to work."

When Dudley Venner mentioned his nephew's arrival, the doctor only said,
"Let him stay a while; it gives her something to think about." He
thought there was no danger of any sudden passion springing up between
two such young persons.

So Mr. Richard came, and the longer he stayed the more favourably the
idea of a permanent residence in the mansion-house seemed to impress
him. The estate was large and of great value, and there could not be a
doubt that the property had largely increased. It was evident there was
an abundant income, and Cousin Elsie was worth trying for. On the other
hand, what was the matter with her eyes, that they sucked your life out
of you in that strange way? And what did she always wear a necklace for?
Besides, her father might last for ever or take it into his head to
marry again.

He prolonged his visit until his presence became something like a matter
of habit. In the meantime he found that Elsie was getting more constant
in her attendance at school, and learned, on inquiry, that there was a
new master, a handsome young man. The handsome young man would not have
liked the look that came over Dick Venner's face when he heard this fact
mentioned.

For Mr. Richard had decided that he must have the property, that this
was his one great chance in life. The girl might not suit him as a wife.
Possibly. Time enough to find out after he had got her. That Elsie now
regarded him with indifference, if not aversion, he could not conceal
from himself. The young man at the school was probably at the bottom of
it. "Cousin Elsie in love with a Yankee schoolmaster!"

But for a long time Dick Venner could get no positive evidence of any
sentiment between Elsie and the schoolmaster. At one time he would be
devoured by suspicion, at another he would laugh himself out of them.

His jealousy at last broke out, when he and Elsie were alone, in a
questioning reference to Mr. Langdon.

Elsie coloured, and then answered, abruptly and scornfully, "Mr. Langdon
is a gentleman, and would not vex me as you do."

"A gentleman!" Dick answered, with the most insulting accent. "A
gentleman! Come, Elsie; you've got the Dudley blood in your veins, and
it doesn't do for you to call this poor sneaking schoolmaster a
gentleman!"

He stopped short. Elsie's bosom was heaving, the faint flush of her
cheek was becoming a vivid glow. There was no longer any doubt in his
mind. Elsie Venner loved Bernard Langdon. The sudden conviction,
absolute, overwhelming, rushed upon him.

Elsie made no answer, but glided out of the room and slid away to her
own apartment. She bolted the door, and drew her curtains close. Then
she threw herself on the floor, and fell into a dull, slow ache of
passion, without tears, almost without words.

Dick realised that he had reached a fearful point. He could not give up
the great Dudley property. Therefore, the school-master must be got rid
of, and by self-destruction.

Mr. Bernard Langdon must be found, suspended to the branch of a tree,
somewhat within a mile of the Apollinean Institute.


_III.--The Perilous Hour_


Old Doctor Kettredge had advised Bernard Langdon to go in for pistol-
shooting, and had even presented him with a small, beautifully finished
revolver. "I want you to carry this," he said, "and more than that, I
want you to practise with it often, so that it may be seen and
understood that you are apt to have a pistol about you."

This was at the conclusion of a conversation between the doctor and Mr.
Bernard concerning Elsie Venner.

"Elsie interests me," said the young man, "interests me strangely. I
would risk my life for her, but I do not love her. If her hand touches
mine, it is not a thrill of passion I feel running through me, but a
very different emotion."

"Mr. Langdon," said the doctor, "you have come to this country town
without suspicion, and you are moving in the midst of perils. Keep your
eyes open, and your heart shut. If, through pitying that girl, you ever
come to love her, you are lost. If you deal carelessly with her, beware!
This is not all. There are other eyes on you beside Elsie Venner's. Go
armed in future."

Mr. Bernard thought the advice very odd, but he followed it, and soon
became known as an expert at revolver-shooting. On the day when Dick
Venner had decided that the schoolmaster must be found hanged, Bernard
Langdon went out as usual for the evening walk. He thrust his pistol,
which he had put away loaded, into his pocket before starting.

The moon was shining at intervals, for the night was partially clouded.
There seemed to be nobody stirring, but presently he detected the sound
of hoofs, and, looking forward, saw a horseman coming in his direction.
When the horseman was within a hundred and fifty yards of him, the moon
shone out suddenly, and revealed each of them to the other. The rider
paused for a moment, then suddenly put his horse to the full gallop, and
dashed towards him, rising at the same instant in his stirrups and
swinging something round his head. It was a strange manoeuvre, so
strange and threatening that the young man cocked his pistol, and waited
to see what mischief all this meant. He did not wait long. As the rider
came rushing towards him he made a rapid motion, and something leaped
five-and-twenty feet through the air in Mr. Bernard's direction. In an
instant he felt a ring, as of a rope or thong, settle upon his
shoulders. There was no time to think, he would be lost in another
second. He raised his pistol and fired--not at the rider, but at the
horse. His aim was true; the horse gave one bound and fell lifeless,
shot through the head. The lasso was fastened to his saddle, and his
last bound threw Mr. Bernard violently to the earth, where he lay
motionless, as if stunned.

In the meantime, Dick Venner, who had been dashed down with his horse,
was trying to extricate himself; one of his legs was held fast under the
animal, the long spur on his boot having caught in the saddle-cloth. He
found, however, that he could do nothing with his right arm, his
shoulder having been in some way injured in his fall. But his Southern
blood was up, and, as he saw Mr. Bernard move as if he were coming to
his senses, he struggled violently to free himself.

"I'll have the dog yet!" he said; "only let me get at him with the
knife!"

He had just succeeded in extricating his imprisoned leg, and was ready
to spring to his feet, when he was caught firmly by the throat, and
looking up, saw a hayfork within an inch of his breast.

"Hold on there! What'n thunder 'r' y' abaout, y' darned Portagee?" said
a sharp, resolute voice.

Dick looked from the weapon to the person who held it, and saw Abel
Stebbins, the doctor's man, standing over him.

"Let me up! Let me up!" he cried in a low, hurried voice. "I'll give you
a hundred dollars in gold to let me go. The man a'n't hurt--don't you
see him stirring? He'll come to himself in two minutes. Let me up! I'll
give you a hundred and fifty dollars in gold, now, here on the spot, and
the watch out of my pocket; take it yourself, with your own hands!"

"Ketch me lett'n go!" was Abel's emphatic answer.

Mr. Bernard was now getting first his senses, and then some few of his
scattered wits together.

"Who's hurt? What's happened?" he asked, staring about him.

Then he felt something about his neck; and putting his hands up, found
the loop of the lasso. Abel quickly slipped the noose over Mr. Bernard's
head, and put it round the neck of the miserable Dick Venner, who, with
his disabled arm, felt resistance was hopeless.

The party now took up the line of march for old Dr. Kettredge's house,
Abel carrying Langdon's pistol, and leading Dick Venner, Bernard Langdon
holding the hayfork. He was still half-stunned, and felt it was all a
dream, when they reached the house.

"My mind is confused," he told the doctor. "I've had a fall."

"Sit down, sit down," the doctor said. "Abel will tell me about it.
Slight concussion of the brain. Can't remember very well for an hour or
two--will come right by to-morrow!"

Dick Venner's shoulder was out of joint, the doctor found; he replaced
it in a very few minutes. That night the doctor drove Dick forty miles
at a stretch, out of the limits of the state.

He had implored them to let him go, and Mr. Bernard was quite willing
that no further proceedings should be taken.


_IV.--The Secret is Whispered_


A week after Dick Venner's departure Elsie went off at the accustomed
hour to the school. She had none of the hard, wicked light in her eyes
that morning, and looked gentle, but dreamy.

At the end of the school hours, when the girls had all gone out, Elsie
came up to Mr. Bernard, and said, in a very low voice, "Will you walk
towards my home with me to-day?"

So they walked along together on their way towards the Dudley mansion.

"I have no friend," Elsie said all at once. "Nobody loves me but one old
woman--old Sophy!"

"I am your friend, Elsie. Tell me what I can do to render your life
happier."

_"Love me!"_ said Elsie Venner.

Mr. Bernard turned pale.

"Elsie," he said presently, "I do love you, as a sister with sorrows of
her own--as one whom I would save at the risk of my happiness and life.
Give me your hand, dear Elsie, and trust me that I will be as true a
friend to you as if we were children of the same mother!"

Elsie gave him her hand mechanically, and he pressed it gently. They
walked almost in silence the rest of the way.

It was all over with poor Elsie. She went at once to her own room when
they reached the mansion-house, and never left it.

They sent for the old doctor, and he ordered some remedies, saying he
would call the next day, hoping to find her better. But the next day
came, and the next, and still Elsie was on her bed--feverish, restless,
and silent.

"Send me Helen Darley," she said at last, on the fourth day.

And Helen came. Dudley Venner followed her into the room.

"She is your patient," he said, "except while the doctor is here."

Helen Darley often tried in those days and nights, when she sat by
Elsie's bed, to enter into the sick girl's confidence and affections,
but there was always something that seemed inexplicable in the changes
of mood. So Helen determined to ask old Sophy some questions.

"How old is Elsie?"

"Eighteen years this las' September."

"How long ago did her mother die?"

"Eighteen year ago this October."

Helen was silent for a moment. Then she whispered,

"What did her mother die of, Sophy?"

The old woman caught Helen by the hand and clung to it, as if in fear.

"Don't never speak in this house 'bout what Elsie's mother died of!" she
said. "God has made Ugly Things wi' death in their mouths, Miss Darlin',
an' He knows what they're for. But my poor Elsie! To have her blood
changed in her before--It was in July mistress got her death, but she
liv' till three week after my poor Elsie was born."

She could speak no more; she had said enough. Helen remembered the
stories she had heard on coming to the village. Now she knew the secret
of the fascination which looked out of the cold, glittering eyes.

A great change came over Elsie in the last few days. It seemed to her
father as if the malign influence which had pervaded her being had been
driven forth or exorcised.

"It's her mother's look!" said old Sophy. "It's her mother's own face
right over again. She never look' so before--the Lord's hand is on her!
His will be done!"

But Elsie's heart was beating more feebly every day. One night, with
sudden effort, she threw her arms round her father's neck, kissed him,
and said, "Good-night, my dear father!"

Then her head fell back upon her pillow, and a long sigh breathed
through her lips.

Elsie Venner was dead!

       *       *       *       *       *

In the following summer Mr. Dudley Venner married Miss Helen Darley. Mr.
Bernard Langdon returned to college, resumed his medical studies, took
his degree as Doctor of Medicine, and he now also is married.

       *       *       *       *       *




THOMAS HUGHES


Tom Brown's Schooldays


     "Tom Brown's Schooldays" has been called by more than one
     critic the best story of schoolboy life ever written, and
     three generations of readers have endorsed the opinion. Its
     author, Thomas Hughes, born at Uffington, Berkshire, England,
     Oct. 19, 1822, was himself, like his hero, both a Rugby boy
     under Dr. Arnold and the son of a Berkshire squire, but he
     denied that the story was in any real sense autobiographical.
     Matthew Arnold and Arthur H. Clough, the poet, were Hughes's
     friends at school, and in later life he became associated with
     Charles Kingsley and Frederick Denison Maurice on what was
     called the Christian Socialist movement. A barrister by
     profession, Thomas Hughes became a county court judge, and
     lived for many years in that capacity at Chester. Besides "Tom
     Brown's Schooldays," published in 1857, Hughes also wrote "Tom
     Brown at Oxford" (1861), biographies of Livingstone, Bishop
     Fraser, and Daniel Macmillan, and a number of political,
     religious and social pamphlets. He died on March 22, 1896.


_I.--Tom Goes to Rugby_


Squire Brown, J.P. for the county of Berks, dealt out justice and mercy,
in a thorough way, and begat sons and daughters, and hunted the fox, and
grumbled at the badness of the roads and the times. And his wife dealt
out stockings and shirts and smock frocks, and comforting drinks to the
old folks with the "rheumatiz," and good counsel to all.

Tom was their eldest child, a hearty, strong boy, from the first given
to fighting with and escaping from his nurse, and fraternising with all
the village boys, with whom he made expeditions all round the
neighbourhood.

Squire Brown was a Tory to the backbone; but, nevertheless, held divers
social principles not generally supposed to be true blue in colour; the
foremost of which was the belief that a man is to be valued wholly and
solely for that which he is himself, apart from all externals whatever.
Therefore, he held it didn't matter a straw whether his son associated
with lords' sons or ploughmen's sons, provided they were brave and
honest. So he encouraged Tom in his intimacy with the village boys, and
gave them the run of a close for a playground. Great was the grief among
them when Tom drove off with the squire one morning, to meet the coach,
on his way to Rugby, to school.

It had been resolved that Tom should travel down by the Tally-ho, which
passed through Rugby itself; and as it was an early coach, they drove
out to the Peacock Inn, at Islington, to be on the road. Towards nine
o'clock, the squire, observing that Tom was getting sleepy, sent the
little fellow off to bed, with a few parting words, the result of much
thought.

"And now, Tom, my boy," said the squire, "remember you are going, at
your own earnest request, to be chucked into this great school, like a
young bear, with all your troubles before you--earlier than we should
have sent you, perhaps. You'll see a great many cruel blackguard things
done, and hear a deal of foul, bad talk. But never fear. You tell the
truth, and keep a brave, kind heart, and never listen to or say anything
you wouldn't have your mother or sister hear, and you'll never feel
ashamed to come home, or we to see you."

The mention of his mother made Tom feel rather choky, and he would have
liked to hug his father well, if it hadn't been for his recent
stipulation that kissing should now cease between them, so he only
squeezed his father's hand, and looked up bravely, and said, "I'll try,
father!"

At ten minutes to three Tom was in the coffee-room in his stockings, and
there was his father nursing a bright fire; and a cup of coffee and a
hard biscuit on the table.

Just as he was swallowing the last mouthful, Boots looks in, and says,
"Tally-ho, sir!" And they hear the ring and rattle as it dashes up to
the Peacock.

"Good-bye, father; my love at home!" A last shake of the hand. Up goes
Tom, the guard holding on with one hand, while he claps the horn to his
mouth. Toot, toot, toot! Away goes the Tally-ho into the darkness.

Tom stands up, and looks back at his father's figure as long as you can
see it; and then comes to an anchor, and finishes his buttonings and
other preparations for facing the cold three hours before dawn. The
guard muffles Tom's feet up in straw, and puts an oat-sack over his
knees, but it is not until after breakfast that his tongue is unloosed,
and he rubs up his memory, and launches out into a graphic history of
all the performances of the Rugby boys on the roads for the last twenty
years.

"And so here's Rugby, sir, at last, and you'll be in plenty of time for
dinner at the schoolhouse, as I tell'd you," says the old guard.

Tom's heart beat quick, and he began to feel proud of being a Rugby boy
when he passed the school gates, and saw the boys standing there as if
the town belonged to them.

One of the young heroes ran out from the rest, and scrambled up behind,
where, having righted himself with, "How do, Jem?" to the guard, he
turned round short to Tom, and began, "I say, you fellow, is your name
Brown?"

"Yes," said Tom, in considerable astonishment.

"Ah, I thought so; my old aunt, Miss East, lives somewhere down your way
in Berkshire; she wrote that you were coming to-day and asked me to give
you a lift!"

Tom was somewhat inclined to resent the patronising air of his new
friend, a boy of just about his own age and height, but gifted with the
most transcendent coolness and assurance, which Tom felt to be
aggravating and hard to bear, but couldn't help admiring and envying,
especially when my young lord begins hectoring two or three long loafing
fellows, and arranges with one of them to carry up Tom's luggage.

"You see," said East, as they strolled up to the school gates, "a good
deal depends on how a fellow cuts up at first. You see I'm doing the
handsome thing by you, because my father knows yours; besides, I want to
please the old lady--she gave me half-a-sov. this half, and perhaps'll
double it next if I keep in her good books."

Tom was duly placed in the Third Form, and found his work very easy; and
as he had no intimate companion to make him idle (East being in the
Lower Fourth), soon gained golden opinions from his master, and all went
well with him in the school. As a new boy he was, of course, excused
fagging, but, in his enthusiasm, this hardly pleased him; and East and
others of his young friends kindly allowed him to indulge his fancy, and
take their turns at night, fagging and cleaning studies. So he soon
gained the character of a good-natured, willing fellow, ready to do a
turn for anyone.


_II.--The War of Independence_


The Lower Fourth was an overgrown Form, too large for any one man to
attend to properly, consequently the elysium of the young scamps who
formed the staple of it. Tom had come up from the Third with a good
character, but he rapidly fell away, and became as unmanageable as the
rest. By the time the second monthly examination came round, his
character for steadiness was gone, and for years after, he went up the
school without it, and regarded the masters, as a matter of course, as
his natural enemies. Matters were not so comfortable in the house,
either. The new praeposters of the Sixth Form were not strong, and the
big Fifth Form boys soon began to usurp power, and to fag and bully the
little boys.

One evening Tom and East were sitting in their study, Tom brooding over
the wrongs of fags in general and his own in particular.

"I say, Scud," said he at last, "what right have the Fifth Form boys to
fag us as they do?"

"No more right than you have to fag them," said East, without looking up
from an early number of "Pickwick." Tom relapsed into his brown study,
and East went on reading and chuckling.

"Do you know, old fellow, I've been thinking it over, and I've made up
my mind I won't fag except for the Sixth."

"Quite right, too, my boy," cried East. "I'm all for a strike myself;
it's getting too bad."

"I shouldn't mind if it were only young Brooke now," said Tom; "I'd do
anything for him. But that blackguard Flashman----"

"The cowardly brute!" broke in East.

"Fa-a-ag!" sounded along the passage from Flashman's study.

The two boys looked at one another.

"Fa-a-ag!" again. No answer.

"Here, Brown! East! You young skulks!" roared Flashman. "I know you're
in! No shirking!"

Tom bolted the door, and East blew out the candle.

"Now, Tom, no surrender!"

Then the assault commenced. One panel of the door gave way to repeated
kicks, and the besieged strengthened their defences with the sofa.
Flashman & Co. at last retired, vowing vengeance, and when the convivial
noises began again steadily, Tom and East rushed out. They were too
quick to be caught, but a pickle-jar, sent whizzing after them by
Flashman narrowly missed Tom's head. Their story was soon told to a knot
of small boys round the fire in the hall, who nearly all bound
themselves not to fag for the Fifth, encouraged and advised thereto by
Diggs--a queer, very clever fellow, nearly at the top of the Fifth
himself. He stood by them all through and seldom have small boys had
more need of a friend.

Flashman and his associates united in "bringing the young vagabonds to
their senses," and the whole house was filled with chasings, sieges, and
lickings of all sorts.

One evening, in forbidden hours, Brown and East were in the hall,
chatting by the light of the fire, when the door swung open, and in
walked Flashman. He didn't see Diggs, busy in front of the other fire;
and as the boys didn't move for him, struck one of them, and ordered
them all off to their study.

"I say, you two," said Diggs, rousing up, "you'll never get rid of that
fellow till you lick him. Go in at him, both of you! I'll see fair
play."

They were about up to Flashman's shoulder, but tough and in perfect
training; while he, seventeen years old, and big and strong of his age,
was in poor condition from his monstrous habits of stuffing and want of
exercise.

They rushed in on him, and he hit out wildly and savagely, and in
another minute Tom went spinning backwards over a form; and Flashman
turned to demolish East, with a savage grin. But Diggs jumped down from
the table on which he had seated himself.

"Stop there!" shouted he. "The round's over! Half minute time allowed!
I'm going to see fair. Are you ready, Brown? Time's up!"

The small boys rushed in again; Flashman was wilder and more flurried
than ever. In a few moments over all three went on the floor, Flashman
striking his head on a form. But his skull was not fractured, as the two
youngsters feared it was, and he never laid a finger on them again. But
whatever harm a spiteful tongue could do them, he took care should be
done. Only throw dirt enough, and some will stick. And so Tom and East,
and one or two more, became a sort of young Ishmaelites. They saw the
praeposters cowed by or joining with the Fifth and shirking their own
duties; and so they didn't respect them, and rendered no willing
obedience, and got the character of sulky, unwilling fags. At the end of
the term they are told the doctor wants to see them. He is not angry
only very grave. He explains that rules are made for the good of the
school and must and shall be obeyed! He should be sorry if they had to
leave, and wishes them to think very seriously in the holidays over what
he has said. Good-night!


_III.--The Turn of the Tide_


The turning point of our hero's school career had now come, and the
manner of it was as follows.

Tom and East and another Schoolhouse boy rushed into the matron's room
in high spirits when they got back on the first day of the next
half-year. She sent off the others, but kept Tom to tell him Mrs. Arnold
wished him to take a new boy to share the study he had hoped to share
with East. She had told Mrs. Arnold she thought Tom would be kind to
him, and see that he wasn't bullied.

In the far corner of the room he saw a slight, pale boy, who looked
ready to sink through the floor. The matron watched Tom for a minute,
and saw what was passing in his mind.

"Poor little fellow," she said, almost in a whisper. "His father's dead,
and his mamma--such a sweet, kind lady--almost broke her heart at
leaving him. She said one of his sisters was like to die of a decline----
"

"Well, well," burst in Tom, "I suppose I must give up East. Come along,
young 'un! What's your name? We'll go and have supper, and then I'll
show you our study."

"His name's George Arthur," said the matron. "I've had his books and
things put into the study, which his mamma has had new papered, and the
sofa covered, and new curtains. And Mrs. Arnold told me to say she'd
like you both to come up to tea with her."

Here was an announcement for Master Tom! He was to go up to tea the
first night, just as if he were of importance in the school world
instead of the most reckless young scapegrace among the fags. He felt
himself lifted on to a higher moral platform at once; and marched off
with his young charge in tow in monstrous good humour with himself and
all the world. His cup was full when Dr. Arnold, with a warm shake of
the hand, seemingly oblivious of all the scrapes he had been getting
into, said, "Ah, Brown, you here! I hope you left all well at home. And
this is the little fellow who is to share your study? Well, he doesn't
look as we should like to see him. You must take him some good long
walks, and show him what little pretty country we have about here."

The tea went merrily off, and everybody felt that he, young as he was,
was of some use in the school world, and had a work to do there. When
Tom was recognised coming out of the private door which led from the
doctor's house, there was a great shout of greeting, and Hall at once
began to question Arthur.

"What a queer chum for Tom Brown," was the general comment. And it must
be confessed that so thought Tom himself as he lighted the candle in
their study, and surveyed the new curtains with much satisfaction.

"I say, Arthur, what a brick your mother is to make us so cosy! But look
here now, you must answer straight up when the fellows speak to you. If
you're afraid, you'll get bullied. And don't you ever talk about home or
your mother or sisters."

Poor little Arthur looked ready to cry.

"But please, mayn't I talk about home to you?"

"Oh, yes, I like it. But not to boys you don't know. What a jolly desk!"

And soon Tom was deep in Arthur's goods and chattels, and hardly thought
of his friends outside till the prayer-bell rang.

He thought of his own first night there when he was leading poor little
Arthur up to No. 4, and showing him his bed. The idea of sleeping in a
room with strange boys had clearly never crossed his mind before. He
could hardly bare to take his jacket off. However, presently off it
came, and he paused and looked at Tom, who was sitting on his bed,
talking and laughing.

"Please, Brown," he whispered, "may I wash my face and hands?"

"Of course, if you like," said Tom, staring. "You'll have to go down for
more water if you use it all." On went the talk and laughter. Arthur
finished his undressing, and looked round more nervously than ever. The
light burned clear, the noise went on. This time, however, he did not
ask Tom what he might or might not do, but dropped on his knees by his
bedside to open his heart to Him who heareth the cry of the tender
child, or the strong man.

Tom was unlacing his boots with his back towards Arthur, and looked up
in wonder at the sudden silence. Then two or three boys laughed, and one
big, brutal fellow picked up a slipper and shied it at the kneeling boy.
The next moment the boot Tom had just taken off flew straight at the
head of the bully.

"If any other fellow wants the other boot," said Tom, stepping on to the
floor, "he knows how to get it!"

At this moment the Sixth Form boy came in, and not another word could be
said. Tom and the rest rushed into bed, and finished unrobing there.
Sleep seemed to have deserted the pillow of poor Tom. The thought of his
promise to his mother came over him, never to forget to kneel at his
bedside and give himself up to his Father before he laid his head on the
pillow from which it might never rise; and he lay down gently, and cried
as if his heart would break. He was only fourteen years old.

Next morning he was up and washed and dressed just as the ten-minutes
bell began, and then in the face of the whole room knelt down to pray.
Not five words could he say; he was listening for every whisper in the
room. What were they all thinking of him? At last, as it were from his
inmost heart, a still, small voice seemed to breathe: "God be merciful
to me, a sinner." He repeated the words over and over again, and rose
from his knees comforted and humbled, and ready to face the whole
school. It was not needed; two other boys had already followed his
example. Before either Tom or Arthur left the Schoolhouse there was no
room in which it had not become the regular custom.


_IV.--Tom Brown's Last Match_


The curtain now rises on the last act of our little drama. Eight years
have passed, and it is the end of the summer half-year at Rugby. The
boys have scattered to the four winds, except the Eleven, and a few
enthusiasts who are permitted to stay to see the result of the cricket
matches. For this year the return matches are being played at Rugby, and
to-day the great event of the year, the Marylebone match, is being
played. I wish I had space to describe the whole match; but I haven't,
so you must fancy it all, and let me beg to call your attention to a
group of three eagerly watching the match. The first, evidently a
clergyman, is carelessly dressed, and looks rather used up, but is bent
on enjoying life as he spreads himself out in the evening sun. By his
side, in white flannel shirt and trousers, and the captain's belt, sits
a strapping figure near six feet high, with ruddy, tanned face and a
laughing eye. He is leaning forward, dandling his favourite bat, with
which he has made thirty or forty runs to-day. It is Tom Brown, spending
his last day as a Rugby boy. And at their feet sits Arthur, with his bat
across his knees. He is less of a boy, in fact, than Tom, if one may
judge by the thoughtfulness of his face, which is somewhat paler than we
could wish, but his figure is well-knit and active, and all his old
timidity has disappeared, and is replaced by silent, quaint fun, as he
listens to the broken talk, and joins in every now and then. Presently
he goes off to the wicket, with a last exhortation from Tom to play
steady and keep his bat straight.

"I'm surprised to see Arthur in the Eleven," says the master.

"Well, I'm not sure he ought to be for his play," said Tom; "but I
couldn't help putting him in. It will do him so much good, and you can't
think what I owe him!"

The master smiled. Later he returned to the subject

"Nothing has given me greater pleasure," he said, "than your friendship
for him. It has been the making of you both."

"Of me, at any rate," answered Tom. "It was the luckiest chance in the
world that sent him to Rugby and made him my chum."

"There was neither luck nor chance in that matter," said the master. "Do
you remember when the Doctor lectured you and East when you had been
getting into all sorts of scrapes?"

"Yes; well enough," said Tom. "It was the half-year before Arthur came."

"Exactly so," said the master. "He was in great distress about you both,
and after some talk, we both agreed that you in particular wanted some
object in the school beyond games and mischief. So the Doctor looked out
the best of the new boys, and separated you and East in the hope that
when you had somebody to lean on you, you'd be steadier yourself, and
get manliness and thoughtfulness. He has watched the experiment ever
since with great satisfaction."

Up to this time Tom had never fully given in to, or understood, the
Doctor. He had learnt to regard him with love and respect, and to think
him a very great and wise and good man. But as regarded his own position
in the school, he had no idea of giving anyone credit but himself.

It was a new light to Tom to find that besides teaching the Sixth, and
governing and guiding the whole school, editing classics, and writing
histories, the great headmaster had found time to watch over the career
even of him, Tom Brown, and his particular friends. However, the
Doctor's victory was complete from that moment. It had taken eight long
years to do it, but now it was done thoroughly.

The match was over.

Tom said good-bye to his tutor, and marched down to the Schoolhouse.

Next morning he was in the train and away for London, no longer a
schoolboy.

       *       *       *       *       *




Tom Brown at Oxford


     "Tom Brown at Oxford," a continuation of "Tom Brown's
     Schooldays," was published in 1861, but, like most sequels, it
     failed to achieve the wide popularity of its famous
     predecessor. Although the story, perhaps, lacks much of the
     freshness of the "Schooldays," it nevertheless conveys an
     admirable picture of undergraduate life as it was in the
     middle of the nineteenth century. Notwithstanding the changes
     that have taken place since then, it is still remarkably full
     of vitality, and the description of the boat races, and the
     bumping of Exeter and Oriel by St. Ambrose's boat might well
     have been written to-day. In spite of its defects, the story,
     with its vigorous morals, is worthy to rank with anything that
     came from the pen of Tom Hughes, the great apostle of muscular
     Christianity.


_I.--St. Ambrose's College_


In the Michaelmas term, after leaving school, Tom went up to matriculate
at St. Ambrose's College, Oxford, but did not go up to reside till the
following January.

St. Ambrose's College was a moderate-sized one. There were some seventy
or eighty undergraduates in residence when our hero appeared there as a
freshman, of whom a large proportion were gentleman-commoners, enough,
in fact, to give the tone to the college, which was decidedly fast.

Fewer and fewer of the St. Ambrose men appeared in the class-lists or
among the prize men. They no longer led the debates in the Union; the
boat lost place after place on the river; the eleven got beaten in all
the matches. But now a reaction had begun. The fellows recently elected
were men of great attainments, chosen as the most likely persons to
restore, as tutors, the golden days of the college.

Our hero, on leaving school, had bound himself solemnly to write all his
doings to the friend he had left behind him, and extracts from his first
letter from college will give a better idea of the place than any
account by a third party.

"Well, first and foremost, it's an awfully idle place--at any rate, for
us freshmen. Fancy now, I am in twelve lectures a week of an hour each.
There's a treat! Two hours a day; and no extra work at all. Of course, I
never look at a lecture before I go in; I know it all nearly by heart,
and for the present the light work suits me, for there's plenty to see
in this place. We keep very gentlemanly hours. Chapel every morning at
eight, and evening at seven. You must attend once a day, and twice on
Sundays, and be in gates at twelve o'clock. And you ought to dine in
hall perhaps four days a week. All the rest of your time you do just
what you like with.

"My rooms are right up in the roof, with a commanding view of tiles and
chimney-pots. Pleasant enough, separated from all mankind by a great
iron-clamped outer door; sitting-room, eighteen by twelve; bedroom,
twelve by eight; and a little cupboard for the scout. Ah, Geordie, the
scout is an institution! Fancy me waited on and valeted by a stout party
in black, of quiet, gentlemanly planners. He takes the deepest interest
in my possessions and proceedings, and is evidently used to good
society, to judge by the amount of crockery and glass, wines, liquors,
and grocery which he thinks indispensable for my due establishment. He
waits on me in hall, where we go in full fig of cap and gown at five,
and get very good dinners, and cheap enough.

"But, after all, the river is the feature of Oxford, to my mind. I
expect I shall take to boating furiously. I have been down the river
three or four times already with some other freshmen, and it is glorious
exercise, that I can see, though we bungle and cut crabs desperately at
present."

Within a day or two of the penning of this epistle, Tom realised one of
the objects of his young Oxford ambition, and succeeded in embarking in
a skiff by himself. He had been such a proficient in all the Rugby games
that he started off in the full confidence that, if he could only have a
turn or two alone, he should satisfy not only himself but everybody else
that he was a heaven-born oar. But the truth soon began to dawn upon him
that pulling, especially sculling, does not, like reading and writing,
come by nature. However, he addressed himself manfully to his task;
savage, indeed, but resolved to get down to Sandford and back before
hall-time, or perish in the attempt. Fortunately, the prudent boatman
had embarked our hero in one of the safest of the tubs, and it was not
until he had zig-zagged down Kennington reach, slowly indeed, and with
much labour, that he heard energetic shouts behind him. The next minute
the bows of his boat whirled round, the old tub grounded, and then,
turning over, shot him out on to the planking of the steep descent into
the small lasher. The rush of water was too strong for him, and rolling
him over, plunged him into the pool below.

After the first moment of astonishment and fright, Tom left himself to
the stream, holding his breath hard, and, paddling gently with his
hands, soon came to the surface, and was about to strike out for the
shore when he caught sight of a skiff coming, stern foremost, down the
descent after him. Down she came, as straight as an arrow, into the
tumult below, the sculler sitting upright, and holding his skulls
steadily in the water. For a moment she seemed to be going under, but
righted herself, and glided swiftly into the still water, while the
sculler glanced round till he caught sight of our hero's half-drowned
head.

"Oh, there you are!" he said, looking much relieved, "Swim ashore; I'll
look after your boat."

So Tom swam ashore, and stood there dripping and watching the other
righting his tub and collecting the sculls and bottom-boards floating
here and there in the pool. Tom had time to look him well over, and was
well satisfied with the inspection. There was that in his face that hit
Tom's fancy, and made him anxious to know him better. There were
probably not three men in the university who would have dared to shoot
the lasher in the state it was then.

It was settled, at Tom's earnest request, that he should pull the sound
skiff up--his old tub was leaking considerably--while his companion sat
in the stern and coached him. Tom poured out his thanks for his new
tutor's instructions, which were given so judiciously that he was
conscious of improving at every stroke.

He disappeared, however, while Tom was wrangling with the manager as to
the amount of damage done to the tub, and when Tom, to his joy, saw him
come into hall to dinner he took no notice of Tom's looks of
recognition. He learned from his neighbour that his name was Hardy, that
he was one of the servitors, a clever fellow, but a very queer one. Tom
resolved to waylay him as soon as hall was over; but Hardy avoided him.


_II.--Summer Term_


Jervis, the captain of the St. Ambrose Boat Club; Miller, the cox; and
Smith, commonly known as Diogenes Smith--from a habit he had of using
his hip-bath as an armchair--were determined to make a success of the
boat, and Tom had the good fortune to get a place in the college
eight--an achievement which is always a feather in the cap of a
freshman.

When the summer term came Miller at once took the crew in hand.

Then came the first night of the races, and at half-past three Tom was
restless and distracted, knowing that two hours and a half had got to
pass before it was time to start for the boats.

However, at last the time slipped away, and the captain and Miller
mustered their crew at the college gates, and walked off to the river.
Half the undergraduates of Oxford streamed along with them. No time was
lost on arrival at the barge in the dressing-room, and in two minutes
the St. Ambrose eight were all standing, in flannel trousers, silk
jerseys, and jackets, at the landing-place.

Then the boat swung steadily down past the mouth of the Cherwell, and
through the Gut to the starting-place. Hark! The first gun!

All the boats have turned, crowds of men on the bank are agitated with
the coming excitement.

Jervis, quiet and full of confidence, looks round from his seat--he is
stroking--takes a sliced lemon from his pocket, puts a small piece into
his mouth, and passes it on.

"Jackets off," says Miller. And the jackets are thrown on shore, and
gathered up by the boatman.

"Eight seconds more only!" Miller calls out. "Look out for the flash!
Remember, all eyes in the boat!"

There it comes at last, the flash of the starting gun. The boat breaks
away with a bound and a dash. The oars flash in the water, and the boat
leaps forward.

For the first ten strokes Tom was in too great fear of making a mistake
to feel or hear or see. But as the crew settled down into the well-known
long sweep, consciousness returned, and, amid all the babel of voices on
the bank, he could hear Hardy yelling, "Steady! Well pulled! Steady!"

And now the St. Ambrose boat is well away from the boat behind, and as
it nears the Gut, it is plainly gaining on Exeter--the boat in front.

"You're gaining!" Miller mutters; and the captain responds with a wink.

Shouts come from the bank. "Now, St. Ambrose!" "Now, Exeter!"

In another moment both boats are in the Gut, and Miller, motionless as a
statue till now, calls out, "Give it her, boys! Six strokes, and we are
into them!" Old Jervis lashes his oar through the water, the boat
answers to the spurt, and Tom feels a little shock, and hears a grating
sound, as Miller shouts, "Unship oars, bow and three." The nose of the
St. Ambrose boat glides quietly up the side of the Exeter, the first
bump has been made.

Two more bumps were made on the next two nights, and bets were laid
freely that St. Ambrose would bump Oriel and become head of the river.
But the Oriel crew were mostly old oars, seasoned in many a race, and
one or two in the St. Ambrose boat were getting "stale."

Something had to be done, and when Drysdale--a
gentleman-commoner--resenting Miller's strictures on his performance at
No. 2, declined to row any more, Tom suggested that Hardy would row if
he were asked.

Hardy, shy and proud because of his poverty, was little known in St.
Ambrose; but a fast friendship had grown up between him and Tom Brown,
and he was glad enough to come into the boat at the captain's request.

The change in the boat made all the difference. Hardy was out sculling
every day on the river, and was consequently in good training. He was,
besides, a man of long, muscular arms.

It was a great race. Inch by inch St. Ambrose gained on Oriel, creeping
up slowly but surely, but the bump was not made till both boats were
close on the winning-post. So near a shave was it! As for the scene on
the bank, it was a hurly-burly of delirious joy.

St. Ambrose was head of the river!


_III.--A Crisis_


There was a certain inn, called the Choughs, where the St. Ambrose men
were in the habit of calling for ale on their way back from the river;
and it had become the correct thing for Ambrosians to make much of Miss
Patty, the landlady's niece. Considering the circumstances, it was a
wonder Patty was not more spoilt than was the case. As it was, Hardy had
to admit that the girl held her own well, without doing or saying
anything unbecoming a modest woman. But he was convinced that Tom was in
her toils, and after pondering what he ought to do, decided to speak
plainly.

Tom had gone into Hardy's rooms according to his custom, after hall; and
Hardy at once opened fire concerning the Choughs.

"Brown, you've no right to go to that place," he said abruptly.

"Why?" said Tom.

"You know why," said Hardy.

"Why am I not to go to the Choughs? Because there happens to be a pretty
barmaid there? All our crew go, and twenty other men besides."

"Yes; but do any of them go in the sort of way you do? Does she look at
any one of them as she does at you?"

"You seem to know a great deal about it," said Tom. "How should I know?"

"That's not fair or true, or like you, Brown," said Hardy. "You do know
that that girl doesn't care a straw for the other men who go there. You
do know that she is beginning to care for you. I've taken it on myself
to speak to you about this, and I shouldn't be your friend if I shirked
it. You shan't go on with this folly, this sin, for want of warning."

"So it seems," said Tom doggedly. "Now I think I've had warning enough.
Suppose we drop the subject?"

"Not yet," said Hardy firmly. "There are only two endings to this sort
of business, and you know it as well as I."

"A right and a wrong one--eh? And because I'm your friend, you assume
that my end will be the wrong one?"

"I say the end _must_ be the wrong one here! There's no right end. Think
of your family. You dare not tell me that you will marry her!"

"I _dare_ not tell you!" said Tom, starting up. "I dare tell any man
anything I please!"

"I say again," went on Hardy, "you _dare_ not say you mean to marry her!
You don't mean it! And, as you don't, to kiss her in the passage as you
did tonight----"

"So you were sneaking behind to watch me?" burst out Tom.

Hardy only answered calmly and slowly, "I will not take these words from
any man! You had better leave my rooms!"

The next minute Tom was in the passage; the next striding up and down
the side of the inner quadrangle in the peace of the pale moonlight.

The following day, and for many days, neither Hardy nor Tom spoke to one
another. Both were wretched, and both feared lest others should notice
the quarrel.

Tom went more and more to the Choughs, and Patty noticed a change in the
youth--a change that half-fascinated and half-repelled her.

Then, for the next few days, Tom plunged deeper and deeper downwards. He
left off pulling on the river, shunned his old friends, and lived with a
set of men who were ready enough to let him share all their brutal
orgies.

Drysdale, with whom Tom had been on good terms, noted the difference,
and advised him "to cut the Choughs business."

"You're not the sort of a fellow to go in for this kind of thing," he
said. "I'll be hanged if it won't kill you, or make a devil of you
before long! Make up your mind to cut the whole concern, old fellow!"

"I'm awfully wretched, Drysdale," was all Tom could say.

All the same, Tom could not follow Drysdale's advice at once and break
off his visits to the Choughs altogether.

The real crisis was over. He had managed to pass through the eye of the
storm, and was drifting into the skirts of it, conscious of an escape
from utter shipwreck.

His visits to the Choughs became shorter; he never stayed behind now
after the other men, and avoided interviews with Patty alone as
diligently as he had sought them before.

Patty, unable to account for this fresh change of manner, was piqued,
and ready to revenge herself in a hundred little ways. If she had been
really in love with him it would have been a different matter; but she
was not. In the last six weeks she certainly had often had visions of
the pleasures of being a lady and keeping servants, but her liking was
not more than skin deep.

Of late, indeed, she had been much more frightened than attracted by the
conduct of her admirer, and really felt it a relief, notwithstanding her
pique, when he retired into a less demonstrative state.

Before the end of that summer term Tom had it made up with Hardy, and it
was Hardy who, at Tom's request, called in at the Choughs, just to see
how things were going on. Tom saw at a glance that something had
happened when Hardy appeared again.

"What is it? She is not ill?" he said quickly.

"No; quite well, her aunt says."

"You didn't see her, then?"

"No the fact is, she has gone home."


_IV.--The Master's Term_


The years speed by, bringing their changes to St. Ambrose. Hardy is a
fellow and tutor of the college in Tom's second year, and Drysdale has
been requested to remove his name from the books. Tom is all for
politics now, and the theories he propounds in the Union gain him the
name of Chartist Brown.

In his third year, Hardy often brought him down from high talk of
"universal democracy" and "the good cause" by insisting on making the
younger man explain what he really meant. And though Tom suffered under
this severe treatment, in the end he generally came round to acknowledge
the reasonableness of Hardy's methods of argument.

It was a trying year to Tom, this third and last year; full of large
dreams and small performances, of hopes and struggles, ending in failure
and disappointment. The common pursuits of the place had lost their
freshness, and with it much of their charm. He was beginning to feel
himself in a cage, and to beat against the bars of it.

Squire Brown was passing through Oxford, and paid his son a visit in the
last term.

Tom gave a small wine-party, which went off admirably, and the squire
enlarged upon the great improvement in young men and habits of the
university, especially in the matter of drinking. Tom had only opened
three bottles of port. In his time the men would have drunk certainly
not less than a bottle a man.

But as the squire walked back to his hotel he was deeply moved at the
Radical views his son now held. He could not understand these new
notions of young men, and thought them mischievous and bad. At the same
time, he was too fair a man to try to dragoon his son out of anything
which he really believed. The fact had begun to dawn on the squire that
the world had changed a good deal since his time; while Tom, on his
part, valued his father's confidence and love above his own opinions. By
degrees the honest beliefs of father and son no longer looked monstrous
to one another, and the views of each of them were modified.

       *       *       *       *       *

One more look must be taken at the old college. Our hero is up in the
summer term, keeping his three weeks' residence, the necessary
preliminary to an M.A. degree. We find him sitting in Hardy's rooms; tea
is over, scouts out of college, candles lighted, and silence reigning,
except when distant sounds of mirth come from some undergraduates' rooms
on the opposite side of the quad.

"Why can't you give a fellow his degree quietly," says Tom, "without
making him come and kick his heels here for three weeks?"

"You ungrateful dog! Do you mean to say you haven't enjoyed coming back,
and sitting in dignity in the bachelors' seats in chapel and at the
bachelors' table in hall, and thinking how much wiser you are than the
undergraduates? Besides your old friends want to see you, and you ought
to want to see them."

"Well, I'm very glad to see you again, old fellow. But who else is there
I care to see? My old friends are gone, and the youngsters look on me as
a sort of don, and I don't appreciate the dignity. You have never broken
with the place. And then you always did your duty, and have done the
college credit. You can't enter into the feelings of a fellow who wasted
three parts of his time here."

"Come, come, Tom! You might have read more, certainly, and taken a
higher degree. But, after all, I believe your melancholy comes from your
not being asked to pull in the boat."

"Perhaps it does. Don't you call it degrading to be pulling in the
torpid in one's old age?"

"Mortified vanity! It's a capital boat. I wonder how we should have
liked to have been turned out for some bachelor just because he had
pulled a good oar in his day?"

"Not at all. I don't blame the youngsters. By the way, they're an
uncommonly nice set. Much better behaved in every way than we were. Why,
the college is a different place altogether. And as you are the only new
tutor, it must have been your doing. Now I want to know your secret?"

"I've no secret, except taking a real interest in all that the men do,
and living with them as much as I can. You may guess it isn't much of a
trial to me to steer the boat down, or run on the bank and coach the
crew. And now the president of St. Ambrose himself comes out to see the
boat. But I don't mean to stop up more than another year now at the
outside. I have been tutor nearly three years, and that's about long
enough."

The talk went on until the clock struck twelve.

"Hallo!" said Tom. "Time for me to knock out, or the old porter will be
in bed. Good-night!"

"Good-night!"

       *       *       *       *       *




VICTOR HUGO


Les Miserables


     Victor Marie Hugo, the great French poet, dramatist, and
     novelist, was born at Besancon, on February 26, 1802. He wrote
     verses from boyhood, and after minor successes, achieved
     reputation with "Odes et Poesies," 1823. Hugo early became the
     protagonist of the romantic movement in French literature. In
     1841 he was elected to the Academy. From 1845 he took an
     increasingly active part in politics, with the result that
     from 1852 to 1870 he lived in exile, first in Jersey and then
     in Guernsey. "Les Miserables" is not only the greatest of all
     Victor Hugo's productions, but is in many respects the
     greatest work of fiction ever conceived. An enormous range of
     matter is pressed into its pages--by turn historical,
     philosophical, lyrical, humanitarian--but running through all
     the change of scene is the tragedy and comedy of life at its
     darkest and its brightest, and of human passions at their
     worst and at their best. It is more than a novel. It is a
     magnificent plea for the outcasts of society, for those who
     are crushed by the mighty edifice of social order. Yet
     throughout it all there is the insistent note of the final
     triumph of goodness in the heart of man. The story appeared in
     1862, when Hugo was sixty years old, and was written during
     his exile in Guernsey. It was translated before publication
     into nine languages, and published simultaneously in eight of
     the principal cities of the world. Hugo died on May 22, 1885.
     (See also Vol. XVII.)


_I.--Jean Valjean, Galley-Slave_


Early in October 1815, at the close of the afternoon, a man came into
the little town of D----. He was on foot, and the few people about
looked at him suspiciously. The traveller was of wretched appearance,
though stout and robust, and in the full vigour of life. He was
evidently a stranger, and tired, dusty, and wearied with a long day's
tramp.

But neither of the two inns in the town would give him food or shelter,
though he offered good money for payment.

He was an ex-convict--that was enough to exclude him.

In despair he went to the prison, and asked humbly for a night's
lodging, but the jailer told him that was impossible unless he got
arrested first.

It was a cold night and the wind was blowing from the Alps; it seemed
there was no refuge open to him.

Then, as he sat down on a stone bench in the marketplace and tried to
sleep, a lady coming out of the cathedral noticed him, and, learning his
homeless state, bade him knock at the bishop's house, for the good
bishop's charity and compassion were known in all the neighbourhood.

At the man's knock the bishop, who lived alone with his sister, Madame
Magloire, and an old housekeeper, said "Come in;" and the ex-convict
entered.

He told them at once that his name was Jean Valjean, that he was a
galley-slave, who had spent nineteen years at the hulks, and that he had
been walking for four days since his release. "It is the same wherever I
go," the man went on. "They all say to me, 'Be off!' I am very tired and
hungry. Will you let me stay here? I will pay."

"Madame Magloire," said the bishop, "please lay another knife and fork.
Sit down, monsieur, and warm yourself. We shall have supper directly,
and your bed will be got ready while we are supping."

Joy and amazement were on the man's face; he stammered his thanks as
though beside himself.

The bishop, in honour of his guest, had silver forks and spoons placed
on the table.

The man took his food with frightful voracity, and paid no attention to
anyone till the meal was over. Then the bishop showed him his bed in an
alcove, and an hour later the whole household was asleep.

Jean Valjean soon woke up again.

For nineteen years he had been at the galleys. Originally a pruner of
trees, he had broken a baker's window and stolen a loaf one hard winter
when there was no work to be had, and for this the sentence was five
years. Time after time he had tried to escape, and had always been
recaptured; and for each offence a fresh sentence was imposed.

Nineteen years for breaking a window and stealing a loaf! He had gone
into prison sobbing and shuddering. He came out full of hatred and
bitterness.

That night, at the bishop's house, for the first time in nineteen years,
Jean Valjean had received kindness. He was moved and shaken. It seemed
inexplicable.

He got up from his bed. Everyone was asleep, the house was perfectly
still.

Jean Valjean seized the silver plate-basket which stood in the bishop's
room, put the silver into his knapsack, and fled out of the house.

In the morning, while the bishop was breakfasting, the gendarmes brought
in Jean Valjean. The sergeant explained that they had met him running
away, and had arrested him, because of the silver they found on him.

"I gave you the candlesticks, too!" said the bishop; "they are silver.
Why did not you take them with the rest of the plate?" Then, turning to
the gendarmes, "It is a mistake."

"We are to let him go?" said the sergeant.

"Certainly," said the bishop.

The gendarmes retired.

"My friend," said the bishop to Jean Valjean, "here are your
candlesticks. Take them with you." He added in a low voice, "Never
forget that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest
man. My brother, you belong no longer to evil, but to good."

Jean Valjean never remembered having promised anything. He left the
bishop's house and the town dazed and stupefied. It was a new world he
had come into.

He walked on for miles, and then sat down by the roadside to think.

Presently a small Savoyard boy passed him, and as he passed dropped a
two-franc piece on the ground.

Jean Valjean placed his foot upon it. In vain the boy prayed him for the
coin. Jean Valjean sat motionless, deep in thought.

Only when the boy had gone on, in despair, did Jean Valjean wake from
his reverie.

He shouted out, "Little Gervais, little Gervais!" for the boy had told
him his name. The lad was out of sight and hearing, and no answer came.

The enormity of his crime came home to him, and Jean Valjean fell on the
ground, and for the first time in nineteen years he wept.


_II.--Father Madeleine_


On a certain December night in 1815 a stranger entered the town of
M----, at the very time when a great fire had just broken out in the
town hall.

This man at once rushed into the flames, and at the risk of his own life
saved the two children of the captain of gendarmes. In consequence of
this act no one thought of asking for his passport.

The stranger settled in the town; by a happy invention he improved the
manufacture of the black beads, the chief industry of M----, and in
three years, from a very small capital, he became a rich man, and
brought prosperity to the place.

In 1820, Father Madeleine, for so the stranger was called, was made
Mayor of M---- by unanimous request, an honour he had declined the
previous year. Before he came everything was languishing in the town,
and now, a few years later, there was healthy life for all.

Father Madeleine employed everybody who came to him. The only condition
he made was--honesty. From the men he expected good-will, from the
women, purity.

Prosperity did not make Father Madeleine change his habits. He performed
his duties as mayor, but lived a solitary and simple life, avoiding
society. His strength, although he was a man of fifty, was enormous. It
was noticed that he read more as his leisure increased, and that as the
years went by his speech became gentler and more polite.

One person only in all the district looked doubtfully at the mayor, and
that was Javert, inspector of police.

Javert, born in prison, was the incarnation of police duty--implacable,
resolute, fanatical. He arrived in M---- when Father Madeleine was
already a rich man, and he felt sure he had seen him before.

One day in 1823 the mayor interfered to prevent Javert sending a poor
woman, named Fantine, to prison. Fantine had been dismissed from the
factory without the knowledge of M. Madeleine; and her one hope in life
was in her little girl, whom she called Cosette. Now, Cosette was
boarded out at the village of Montfermeil, some leagues distance from
M----, with a family grasping and dishonest, and to raise money for
Cosette's keep had brought Fantine to misery and sickness.

The mayor could save Fantine from prison, he could not save her life;
but before the unhappy woman died she had delivered a paper to Mr.
Madeleine authorising him to take her child, and Mr. Madeleine had
accepted the trust.

It was when Fantine lay dying in the hospital that Javert, who had quite
decided in his own mind who M. Madeleine was, came to the mayor and
asked to be dismissed from the service.

"I have denounced you, M. le Maire, to the prefect of police at Paris as
Jean Valjean, an ex-convict, who has been wanted for the robbery of a
little Savoyard more than five years ago."

"And what answer did you receive?"

"That I was mad, for the real Jean Valjean has been found."

"Ah!"

Javert explained that an old man had been arrested for breaking into an
orchard; that on being taken to the prison he had been recognised by
several people as Jean Valjean, and that he, Javert, himself recognised
him. To-morrow he was to be tried at Arras, and, as he was an
ex-convict, his sentence would be for life.

Terrible was the anguish of M. Madeleine that night. He had done all
that man could do to obliterate the past, and now it seemed another was
to be taken in his place. The torture and torment ended. In the morning
M. Madeleine set out for Arras.

M. Madeleine arrived before the orchard-breaker was condemned. He proved
to the court's astonishment that he, the revered and philanthropic Mayor
of M----, was Jean Valjean, and that the prisoner had merely committed a
trivial theft. Then he left the court, returned to M----, removed what
money he had, buried it, and arranged his affairs.

A few days later Jean Valjean was sent back to the galleys at Toulon,
and with his removal the prosperity of M---- speedily collapsed. This
was in July 1823. In November of that year the following paragraph
appeared in the Toulon paper:

"Yesterday, a convict, on his return from rescuing a sailor, fell into
the sea and was drowned. His body has not been found. His name was
registered as Jean Valjean."


_III.--A Hunted Man_


At Christmas, in the year 1823, an old man came to the village of
Montfermeil, called at the inn, paid money to the rascally innkeeper,
Thenardier, and carried off little Cosette to Paris.

The old man rented a large garret in an old house, and Cosette became
inexpressibly happy with her doll and with the good man who loved her so
tenderly.

Till then Jean Valjean had never loved anything. He had never been a
father, lover, husband, or friend. When he saw Cosette, and had rescued
her, he felt his heart strangely moved. All the affection he had was
aroused, and went out to this child. Jean Valjean was fifty-five and
Cosette eight, and all the love of his life, hitherto untouched, melted
into a benevolent devotion.

Cosette, too, changed. She had been separated from her mother at such an
early age that she could not remember her. And the Thenardiers had
treated her harshly. In Jean Valjean she found a father, just as he
found a daughter in Cosette.

Weeks passed away. These two beings led a wonderfully happy life in the
old garret; Cosette would chatter, laugh, and sing all day.

Jean Valjean was careful never to go out in the daytime, but he began to
be known in the district as "the mendicant who gives away money." There
was one old man who sat by some church steps, and who generally seemed
to be praying, whom Jean Valjean always liked to relieve. One night when
Jean Valjean had dropped a piece of money into his hand as usual, the
beggar suddenly raised his eyes, stared hard at him, and then quickly
dropped his head. Jean Valjean started, and went home greatly troubled.
The face which he fancied he had seen was that of Javert.

A few nights later Jean Valjean found that Javert had taken lodgings in
the same house where he and Cosette lived. Taking the child by the hand,
he at once set out for fresh quarters. They passed through silent and
empty streets, and crossed the river, and it seemed to Jean Valjean that
no one was in pursuit. But soon he noticed four men plainly shadowing
him, and a shudder went over him. He turned from street to street,
trying to escape from the city, and at last found himself entrapped in a
_cul-de-sac._ What was to be done?

There was no time to turn back. Javert had undoubtedly picketed every
outlet. Fortunately for Jean Valjean, there was a deep shadow in the
street, so that his own movements were unseen.

While he stood hesitating, a patrol of soldiers entered the street, with
Javert at their head. They frequently halted. It was evident that they
were exploring every hole and corner, and one might judge they would
take a quarter of an hour before they reached the spot where Jean
Valjean was. It was a frightful moment. Capture meant the galleys, and
Cosette lost for ever. There was only one thing possible--to scale the
wall which ran along a wide portion of the street. But the difficulty
was Cosette; there was no thought of abandoning her.

First, Jean Valjean procured a rope from the lamppost, for the lamps had
not been lit that night owing to the moonlight. This he fastened round
the child, taking the other end between his teeth. Half a minute later he
was on his knees on the top of the wall. Cosette watched him in silence.
All at once she heard Jean Valjean saying in a very low voice, "Lean
against the wall. Don't speak, and don't be afraid."

She felt herself lifted from the ground, and before she had time to
think where she was she found herself on the top of the wall.

Jean Valjean grasped her, put the child on his back, and crawled along
the wall till he came to a sloping roof. He could hear the thundering
voice of Javert giving orders to the patrol to search the _cul-de-sac_
to the end.

Jean Valjean slipped down the roof, still carrying Cosette, and leaped
on the ground. It was a convent garden he had entered.

On the other side of the wall the clatter of muskets and the
imprecations of Javert resounded; from the convent came a hymn.

Cosette and Jean Valjean fell on their knees. Presently Jean Valjean
discovered that the gardener was an old man whose life he had saved at
M------, and who, in his gratitude, was prepared to do anything for M.
Madeleine.

It ended in Cosette entering the convent school as a pupil, and Jean
Valjean being accepted as the gardener's brother. The good nuns never
left the precincts of their convent, and cared nothing for the world
beyond their gates.

As for Javert, he had delayed attempting an arrest, even when his
suspicions had been aroused, because, after all, the papers said the
convict was dead. But once convinced, he hesitated no longer.

His disappointment when Jean Valjean escaped him was midway between
despair and fury. All night the search went on; but it never occurred to
Javert that a steep wall of fourteen feet could be climbed by an old man
with a child.

Several years passed at the convent.

Jean Valjean worked daily in the garden, and shared the hut and the name
of the old gardener, M. Fauchelevent. Cosette was allowed to see him for
an hour every day.

The peaceful garden, the fragrant flowers, the merry cries of the
children, the grave and simple women, gradually brought happiness to
Jean Valjean; and his heart melted into gratitude for the security he
had found.


_IV.--Something Higher than Duty_


For six years Cosette and Jean Valjean stayed at the convent; and then,
on the death of the old gardener, Jean Valjean, now bearing the name of
Fauchelevent, decided that as Cosette was not going to be a nun, and as
recognition was no longer to be feared, it would be well to remove into
the city.

So a house was taken in the Rue Plumet, and here, with a faithful
servant, the old man dwelt with his adopted child. But Jean Valjean took
other rooms in Paris, in case of accidents.

Cosette was growing up. She was conscious of her good looks, and she was
in love with a well-connected youth named Marius, the son of Baron
Pontmercy.

Jean Valjean learnt of this secret love-making with dismay. The idea of
parting from Cosette was intolerable to him.

Then, in June 1832, came desperate street fighting in Paris, and Marius
was in command of one of the revolutionary barricades.

At this barricade Javert had been captured as a spy, and Jean Valjean,
who was known to the revolutionaries, found his old, implacable enemy
tied to a post, waiting to be shot. Jean Valjean requested to be allowed
to blow out Javert's brains himself, and permission was given.

Holding a pistol in his hand, Jean Valjean led Javert, who was still
bound, to a lane out of sight of the barricade, and there with his knife
cut the ropes from the wrists and feet of his prisoner.

"You are free," he said. "Go; and if by chance I leave this place alive,
I am to be found under the name of Fauchelevent, in the Rue de
l'Homme-Arme, No. 7."

Javert walked a few steps, and then turned back, and cried, "You worry
me. I would rather you killed me!"

"Go!" was the only answer from Jean Valjean.

Javert moved slowly away; and when he had disappeared Jean Valjean
discharged his pistol in the air.

Soon the last stand of the insurgents was at an end, and the barricade
destroyed. Jean Valjean, who had taken no part in the struggle, beyond
exposing himself to the bullets of the soldiers, was unhurt; but Marius
lay wounded and insensible in his arms.

The soldiers were shooting down all who tried to escape. The situation
was terrible.

There was only one chance for life--underground. An iron grating, which
led to the sewers, was at his feet. Jean Valjean tore it open, and
disappeared with Marius on his shoulders.

He emerged, after a horrible passage through a grating by the bank of
the river, only to find there the implacable Javert!

Jean Valjean was quite calm.

"Inspector Javert," he said, "help me to carry this man home; then do
with me what you please."

A cab was waiting for the inspector. He ordered the man to drive to the
address Jean Valjean gave him. Marius, still unconscious, was taken to
his grandfather's house.

"Inspector Javert," said Jean Valjean, "grant me one thing more. Let me
go home for a minute; then you may take me where you will."

Javert told the driver to go to Rue de l'Homme-Arme, No. 7.

When they reached the house, Javert said, "Go up; I will wait here for
you!"

But before Jean Valjean reached his rooms Javert had gone, and the
street was empty.

Javert had not been at ease since his life had been spared. He was now
in horrible uncertainty. To owe his life to an ex-convict, to accept
this debt, and then to repay him by sending him back to the galleys was
impossible. To let a malefactor go free while he, Inspector Javert, took
his pay from the government, was equally impossible. It seemed there was
something higher and above his code of duty, something he had not come
into collision with before. The uncertainty of the right thing to be
done destroyed Javert, to whom life had hitherto been perfectly plain.
He could not live recognising Jean Valjean as his saviour, and he could
not bring himself to arrest Jean Valjean.

Inspector Javert made his last report at the police-station, and then,
unable to face the new conditions of life, walked slowly to the river
and plunged into the Seine, where the water rolls round and round in an
endless whirlpool.

Marius recovered, and married Cosette; and Jean Valjean lived alone. He
had told Marius who he was--Jean Valjean, an escaped convict; and Marius
and Cosette gradually saw less and less of the old man.

But before Jean Valjean died Marius learnt the whole truth of the heroic
life of the old man who had rescued him from the lost barricade. For the
first time he realised that Jean Valjean had come to the barricade only
to save him, knowing him to be in love with Cosette.

He hastened with Cosette to Jean Valjean's room; but the old man's last
hour had come.

"Come closer, come closer, both of you," he cried. "I love you so much.
It is good to die like this! You love me too, my Cosette. I know you've
always had a fondness for the poor old man. And you, M. Pontmercy, will
always make Cosette happy. There were several things I wanted to say,
but they don't matter now. Come nearer, my children. I am happy in
dying!"

Cosette and Marius fell on their knees, and covered his hands with
kisses.

Jean Valjean was dead!

       *       *       *       *       *




Notre Dame de Paris


     Victor Hugo was already eminent as one of the greatest
     dramatic poets of his day before he gave to the world, in
     1831, his great tragic romance, "Notre Dame de Paris," of
     which the original title was "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
     Hugo has said that the story was suggested to him by the Greek
     word _anagke_ (Fate), which one day he discovered carved on
     one of the towers of the famous cathedral. "These Greek
     characters," he says, "black with age and cut deep into the
     stone with the peculiarities of form and arrangement common to
     the Gothic caligraphy that marked them the work of some hand
     in the Middle Ages, and above all the sad and mournful meaning
     which they expressed, forcibly impressed me." In "Notre Dame"
     there is all the tenderness for sorrow and sympathy for the
     afflicted, which found even fuller and deeper expression
     thirty years later in "Les Miserables"; while as a study of
     the life of Paris of the Middle Ages, and of the great church
     after which the romance is called, the book is still
     unrivalled.


_I.--The Hunchback of Notre Dame_


It was January 6, 1482, and all Paris was keeping the double festival of
Epiphany and the Feast of Fools.

The Lord of Misrule was to be elected, and all who were competing for
the post came in turn and made a grimace at a broken window in the great
hall of the Palace of Justice. The ugliest face was to be acclaimed
victor by the populace, and shouts of laughter greeted the grotesque
appearances.

The vote was unanimous in favour of the hunchback of Notre Dame. He had
but stood at the window, and at once had been elected. The square nose,
the horseshoe shaped mouth, the one eye, overhung by a bushy red
eyebrow, the forked chin, and the strange expression of amazement,
malice, and melancholy--who had seen such a grimace?

It was only when the crowd had carried away the Lord of Misrule in
triumph that they understood that the grimace was the hunchback's
natural face. In fact, the entire man was a grimace. Humpbacked, an
enormous head, with bristles of red hair; broad feet, huge hands,
crooked legs; and, with all this deformity, a wonderful vigour, agility,
and courage. Such was the newly chosen Lord of Misrule--a giant broken
to pieces and badly mended.

He was recognised by the crowd in the streets, and shouts went up.

"It is Quasimodo, the bell-ringer! Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre
Dame!"

A pasteboard tiara and imitation robes were placed on him, and Quasimodo
submitted with a sort of proud docility. Then he was seated upon a
painted barrow, and twelve men raised it to their shoulders; and the
procession, which included all the vagrants and rascals of Paris, set
out to parade the city.

There was a certain rapture in this journey for Quasimodo. For the first
time in his life he felt a thrill of vanity. Hitherto humiliation and
contempt had been his portion; and now, though he was deaf, he could
enjoy the plaudits of the mob--mob which he hated because he felt that
it hated him.

Suddenly, as Quasimodo passed triumphantly along the streets, the
spectators saw a man, dressed like a priest, dart out and snatch away
the gilded crosier from the mock pope.

A cry of terror rose. The terrible Quasimodo threw himself from his
barrow, and everyone expected to see him tear the priest limb from limb.
Instead, he fell on his knees before the priest, and submitted to have
his tiara torn from him and his crosier broken.

The fraternity of fools determined to defend their pope so abruptly
dethroned; but Quasimodo placed himself in front of the priest, put his
fists up, and glared at his assailants, so that the crowd melted before
him.

Then, at the grave beckoning of the priest, Quasimodo followed, and the
two disappeared down a narrow side street.

The one human being whom Quasimodo loved was this priest, Claude Frollo,
Archbishop of Paris. And this was quite natural. For it was Claude
Frollo who had found the hunchback--a deserted, forsaken child left in a
sack at the entrance to Notre Dame, and, in spite of his deformities,
had taken him, fed him, adopted him, and brought him up. Claude Frollo
taught him to speak, to read, and to write, and had made him bell-ringer
at Notre Dame.

Quasimodo grew up in Notre Dame. Cut off from the world by his
deformities, the church became his universe, and his gratitude was
boundless when he was made bell-ringer.

The bells had made him deaf, but he could understand by signs Claude
Frollo's wishes, and so the archdeacon became the only human being with
whom Quasimodo could hold any communication. Notre Dame and Claude
Frollo were the only two things in the world for Quasimodo, and to both
he was the most faithful watchman and servant. In the year 1482
Quasimodo was about twenty, and Claude Frollo thirty-six. The former had
grown up, the latter had grown old.


_II.--Esmeralda_


On that same January 6, 1482, a young girl was dancing in an open space
near a great bonfire in Paris. She was not tall but seemed to be, so
erect was her figure. She danced and twirled upon an old piece of
Persian carpet, and every eye in the crowd was riveted upon her. In her
grace and beauty this gypsy girl seemed more than mortal.

One man in the crowd stood more absorbed than the rest in watching the
dancer. It was Claude Frollo, the archdeacon: and though his hair was
grey and scanty, in his deep-set eyes the fire and spirit of youth still
sparkled.

When the young girl stopped at last, breathless, the people applauded
eagerly.

"Djali," said the gypsy, "it's your turn now." And a pretty little white
goat got up from a corner of the carpet.

"Djali, what month in the year is this?"

The goat raised his forefoot and struck once upon the tambourine held
out to him.

The crowd applauded.

"Djali, what day of the month is it?"

The goat struck the tambourine six times.

The people thought it was wonderful.

"There is sorcery in this!" said a forbidding voice in the crowd. It was
the voice of the priest Claude Frolic.

Then the gypsy began to take up a collection in her tambourine, and
presently the crowd dispersed.

Later in the day, when darkness had fallen, as the gypsy and her goat
were proceeding to their lodgings, Quasimodo seized hold of the girl and
ran off with her.

"Murder! Murder!" shrieked the unfortunate gypsy.

"Halt! Let the girl go, you ruffian!" exclaimed, in a voice of thunder,
a horseman who appeared suddenly from a cross street. It was a captain
of the King's Archers, armed from head to foot, and sword in hand.

He tore the gypsy girl from the arms of the astonished Quasimodo, and
placed her across his saddle. Before the hunchback could recover from
his surprise, a squadron of royal troops, going on duty as extra
watchmen, surrounded him, and he was seized and bound.

The gypsy girl sat gracefully upon the officer's saddle, placing both
hands upon the young man's shoulders, and gazing at him fixedly. Then
breaking the silence, she said tenderly, "What is your name, M.
l'Officier?"

"Captain Phaebus de Chateaupers, at your service, my pretty maid!" said
the officer, drawing himself up.

"Thank you."

And while Captain Phaebus twirled his mustache, she slipped from his
horse and vanished like a flash of lightning.

"The bird has flown, but the bat remains, captain," said one of the
troopers, tightening Quasimodo's bonds.

Quasimodo being deaf, understood nothing of the proceedings in the court
next day, when he was charged with creating a disturbance, and of
rebellion and disloyalty to the King's Archers.

The chief magistrate, also being deaf and at the same time anxious to
conceal his infirmity, understood nothing that Quasimodo said.

The hunchback was sentenced to be taken to the pillory in the Greve, to
be beaten, and to be kept there for two hours.

Quasimodo remained utterly impassive, while the crowd which yesterday
had hailed him as Lord of Misrule now greeted him with hooting and
derision.

The pillory was a simple cube of masonry, some ten feet high, and hollow
within. A horizontal wheel of oak was at the top, and to this the victim
was bound in a kneeling posture. A very steep flight of stone steps led
to the wheel.

All the people laughed merrily when Quasimodo was seen in the pillory;
and when he had been beaten by the public executioner, they added to the
wretched sufferer's misery by insults, and, occasionally, stones. There
was hardly a spectator in the crowd that had not some grudge, real or
imagined, against the hunchback bell-ringer of Notre Dame.

Quasimodo had endured the torturer's whip with patience, but he rebelled
against the stones, and struggled in his fetters till the old pillory-
wheel creaked on its timbers. Then, as he could accomplish nothing by
his struggles, his face became quiet again.

For a moment the cloud was lightened when the poor victim saw a priest
seated on a mule approach in the roadway. A strange smile came on the
face of Quasimodo as he glanced at the priest; yet when the mule was
near enough to the pillory for his rider to recognise the prisoner, the
priest cast down his eyes, turned back hastily, as if in a hurry to
avoid humiliating appeals, and not at all anxious to be greeted by a
poor wretch in the pillory.

The priest was the archdeacon, Claude Frollo. The smile on Quasimodo's
face became bitter and profoundly sad.

Time passed. He had been there at least an hour and a half, wounded,
incessantly mocked, and almost stoned to death.

Suddenly he again struggled in his chains with renewed despair, and
breaking the silence which he had kept so stubbornly, he cried in a
hoarse and furious voice, "Water!"

The exclamation of distress, far from exciting compassion, only
increased the amusement of the Paris mob. Not a voice was raised, except
to mock at his thirst.

Quasimodo cast a despairing look upon the crowd, and repeated in a
heartrending voice, "Water!"

Everyone laughed. A woman aimed a stone at his head, saying, "That will
teach you to wake us at night with your cursed chimes!"

"Here's a cup to drink out of!" said a man, throwing a broken jug at his
breast.

"Water!" repeated Quasimodo for the third time.

At this moment he saw the gypsy girl and her goat come through the
crowd. His eye gleamed. He did not doubt that she, too, came to be
avenged, and to take her turn at him with the rest. He watched her
nimbly climb the ladder. Rage and spite choked him. He longed to destroy
the pillory; and had the lightning of his eye had power to blast, the
gypsy girl would have been reduced to ashes long before she reached the
platform. Without a word she approached the sufferer, loosened a gourd
from her girdle, and raised it gently to the parched lips of the
miserable man. Then from his eye a great tear trickled, and rolled
slowly down the misshapen face, so long convulsed with despair.

The gypsy girl smilingly pressed the neck of the gourd to Quasimodo's
jagged mouth.

He drank long draughts; his thirst was feverish. When he had done, the
poor wretch put out his black lips to kiss the hand which had helped
him. But the girl, remembering the violent attempt of the previous
night, and not quite free from distrust, withdrew her hand quickly.

Quasimodo fixed upon her a look of reproach and unspeakable sorrow.

The sight of this beautiful girl succouring a man in the pillory so
deformed and wretched seemed sublime, and the people were immediately
affected by it. They clapped their hands, and shouted, "Noel! Noel!"

Esmeralda--for that was the name of the gypsy girl--came down from the
pillory, and a mad woman called out, "Come down! Come down! You will go
up again!"

Presently Quasimodo was released, and the mob thereupon dispersed.


_III.--The Archdeacon's Passion_


In spite of the austerity of Claude Frollo's life, pious people
suspected him of magic. His silence and secretiveness encouraged this
feeling. He was known to be at work in the long hours of the night in
his cell in Notre Dame, and he wandered about the streets like a
spectre.

Whenever the gypsy girl placed her carpet within sight of Claude
Frollo's cell and began to dance the priest turned from his books and,
resting his head in his hands, gazed at her. Then he would go down into
the public thoroughfares, lured on by some burning passion within.

Quasimodo, too, would desist from his bell-ringing to look at the
dancing girl.

The hotter the fire of passion burned within the priest the farther
Esmeralda moved from him. He discovered that she was in love with
Captain Phoebus, her rescuer, and this knowledge added fuel to the
flames.

One purpose now was clear to him. He would give up all for the dancing
girl, and she should be his. But if Esmeralda refused to come to him,
then the archdeacon resolved that she should die before she married
anyone else. At any time he could have her arrested on the charge of
sorcery, and the goat's tricks would easily procure a conviction.

Captain Phoebus, having invited Esmeralda to meet him at a wineshop, the
priest followed the couple, and when the captain, to whom the girl was
the merest diversion, began to make love, Claude Frollo, unable to
contain himself, rushed in unobserved and stabbed him.

Captain Phoebus was taken up for dead, and the priest vanished as
silently as he had come. The soldiers of the watch found Esmeralda, and
said, "This is the sorceress who has stabbed our captain." So Esmeralda
was brought to trial on the charge of witchcraft, and every day the
priest from Notre Dame came into court.

It was a tedious process, for not only was the girl on trial, but the
goat also, in accordance with the custom of the times, was under arrest.

All that Esmeralda wanted to know was whether Phoebus was still alive,
and she was told by the judges he was dying.

The indictment against her was "that with her accomplice, the bewitched
goat, she did murder and stab, in league with the powers of darkness, by
the aid of charms and spells, a captain of the king's troops, one
Phoebus de Chateaupers." And it was vain that the girl denied vehemently
her guilt.

"How do you explain the charge brought against you?" said the president.

"I have told you already I do not know," said Esmeralda, in a broken
voice. "It was a priest--a priest who is always pursuing me"

"That's it," said the president; "it is a goblin monk."

The goat having performed his simple tricks in the presence of the
court, and Esmeralda still refusing to admit her guilt, the president
ordered her to be put to the question.

She was placed on the rack, and at the first turn of the screw promised
to confess everything. Then the lawyers put a number of questions to
her, and Esmeralda answered "Yes" in every case. It was plain that her
spirit was utterly broken.

Then the court having read the confession, sentence was pronounced. She
was to be taken to the Greve, where the pillory stood, and, in atonement
for the crimes confessed, there hanged and strangled on the city gibbet,
"and likewise this your goat."

"It must be a dream," the girl murmured, when she heard the sentence.

But, if Esmeralda had yielded at the first turn of the rack, nothing
would make her yield to Claude Frollo when he came to see her in prison.
In vain he promised her life and liberty if she would only agree to love
him. In vain he reproached her with having brought disturbance and
disquiet into his soul. All that Esmeralda could say was, "Have pity on
me!--have pity on me!" But she would not give up Phoebus. And when the
priest declared Phoebus was dead, she turned upon him and called him
"monster and assassin!" Claude Frollo, unable to move her, decided to
let her die, and the day of execution arrived. As for Captain Phoebus,
he recovered; but, as he was about to be engaged to a young lady of
wealth, he thought it better to say nothing about the gypsy girl.

But Esmeralda was not hanged that day. Just as the hangman's assistants
were about to do their work, Quasimodo, who had been watching everything
from his gallery in Notre Dame, slid down by a rope to the ground,
rushed at the two executioners, flung them to the earth with his huge
fists, seized the gypsy girl, as a child might a doll, and with one
bound was in the church, holding her above his head, and shouting in a
tremendous voice, "Sanctuary!"

"Sanctuary! Sanctuary!" The mob took up the cry, and ten thousand hands
clapped approval.

The hangman stood stupefied. Within the precincts of Notre Dame the
prisoner was secure; the cathedral was a sure refuge, all human justice
ended at its threshold.


_IV.--The Attack on Notre Dame_


Quasimodo did not stop running and shouting "Sanctuary!" till he reached
a cell built over the aisles in Notre Dame. Here he deposited Esmeralda
carefully, untied the ropes which bruised her arms, and spread a
mattress on the floor; then he left her, and returned with a basket of
provisions.

The girl lifted her eyes to thank him, but could not utter a word, so
frightful was he to look at. Quasimodo only said, "I frighten you
because I am ugly. Do not look at me, then, but listen. All day you must
stay here, at night you can walk anywhere about the church. But, day or
night, do not leave the church, or you will be lost. They would kill
you, and I should die." Then he vanished, but when she awoke next
morning she saw him at the window of her cell.

"Don't be frightened," he said. "I am your friend. I only came to see if
you were asleep. I am deaf, you did not know that? I never realised how
ugly I was till now. I seem to you like some awful beast, eh? And
you--you are a sunbeam!"

As the days went by calm returned to Esmeralda's soul, and with calm had
come the sense of security, and with security hope.

Two forces were now at work to remove her from Notre Dame.

The archdeacon, leaving Paris to avoid her execution, had returned--to
learn where Esmeralda was situated. From his cell in Notre Dame he
observed her movements, and, in his madness, jealous of Quasimodo's
service to her, resolved to have her removed. If she still refused him
he would give her up to justice.

Esmeralda's friends, all the gypsies, vagrants, cutthroats, and
pick-pockets of Paris, to the number of six thousand, also resolved that
they would forcibly rescue her from Notre Dame, lest some evil should
overtake her. Paris at that time had neither police nor adequate city
watchmen.

At midnight the monstrous army of vagrants set out, and it was not until
they were outside the church that they lit their torches. Quasimodo,
every night on the watch, at once supposed that the invaders had some
foul purpose against Esmeralda, and determined to defend the church at
all cost.

The battle raged furiously at the great west doors. Hammers, pincers,
and crow-bars were at work outside. Quasimodo retaliated by heaving
first a great beam of wood, and then stones and other missiles on the
besiegers. Finally, when they had reared a tall ladder to the first
gallery, and had crowded it with men, Quasimodo, by sheer force, pushed
the ladder away, and it tottered and fell right back. The battle only
ended on the arrival of a large company of King's Archers, when the
vagrants, defeated by Quasimodo, retired fighting.

While the battle raged Claude Frollo, with the aid of a disreputable
young student of his acquaintance, persuaded Esmeralda to leave the
church by a secret door at the back, and to escape by the river. The
priest was so hidden in his cloak that the girl did not recognise him
till they were alone in the city. In the Greve, at the foot of the
public scaffold where the gallows stood, Claude Frollo made his last
appeal.

"Listen!" he said. "I have saved you, and I can save you altogether, if
you choose. Choose between me and the gibbet!"

There was silence, and then Esmeralda said, "It is less horrible to me
than you are."

He poured out his soul passionately, telling her that his life was
nothing without her love, but the girl never moved.

It was daylight now.

"For the last time, will you be mine?"

She answered emphatically, "No!"

Then he called out as loud as he could, and presently a body of armed
men appeared. Soon the public hangman was aroused, and the execution
which had been interrupted by Quasimodo's heroic rescue was carried out.

Meantime, what of Quasimodo?

He had rushed to her cell when the king's troops, having beaten off the
vagrants, entered the church, and it was empty! Then he had explored
every nook and cranny of Notre Dame, and again and again gone the round
of the church. For an hour he sat in despair, his body convulsed by
sobs.

Suddenly he remembered that Claude Frollo had a secret key, and decided
that the priest must have carried her off.

At that very moment Claude returned to Notre Dame, after handing over
Esmeralda to the hangman. Quasimodo watched him ascend to the balustrade
at the top of the tower, and then followed him; the priest's attention
was too absorbed to hear the hunchback's step.

Claude rested his arms on the balustrade, and gazed intently at the
gallows in the Greve. Quasimodo tried to make out what it was the priest
stared at, and then he recognised Esmeralda in the hangman's arms on the
ladder, and in another second the hangman had done his work.

A demoniac laugh broke from the livid lips of Claude Frollo; Quasimodo
could not hear this laughter, but he saw it.

He rushed furiously upon the archdeacon, and with his great fists he
hurled Claude Frollo into the abyss over which he leaned.

The archdeacon caught at a gutter, and hung suspended for a few minutes,
and then fell--more than two hundred feet.

Quasimodo raised his eyes to the gypsy, whose body still swung from the
gibbet; and then lowered them to the shapeless mass on the pavement
beneath. "And these were all I have ever loved!" he said, sobbing.

He was never seen again in Notre Dame.

Some two years later, when there were certain clearances in the vault
where the body of Esmeralda had been deposited, the skeleton of a man,
deformed and twisted, was found in close embrace with the skeleton of a
woman. A little silk bag which Esmeralda had always worn was around the
neck of the skeleton of the woman.

       *       *       *       *       *




The Toilers of the Sea


     Victor Hugo's third great romance, "The Toilers of the Sea"
     ("Les Travailleurs de la Mer"), published in 1866, was written
     during his exile in Guernsey. Of all Hugo's romances, both in
     prose and in verse, none surpasses this for sheer splendour of
     imagination and diction, for eloquence and sublimity of truth.
     It is, in short, an idyll of passion, adventure, and
     self-sacrifice. The description of the moods and mysteries of
     the sea is well-nigh incomparable; and not even in the whole
     of Hugo's works can there be found anything more vivid than
     Gilliatt's battle with the devil-fish. The scene of the story
     is laid in the Channel Islands, and the book itself is
     dedicated to the "Isle of Guernsey, severe yet gentle, my
     present asylum, my probable tomb." The story was immensely
     successful on its appearance, and was at once translated into
     several European languages.


_I.--A Lonely Man_


A Guernseyman named Gilliatt, who was avoided by his neighbours on
account of lonely habits, and a certain love of nature which the
suspicious people regarded as indicating some connection with the devil,
was one day returning on a rising tide from his fishing, when he fancied
he saw in a certain projection of the cliff a shadow of a man.

The place probably attracted Gilliatt's gaze because it was a favourite
sojourn of his--a natural seat cut in the great cliffs, and affording a
magnificent view of the sea. It was a place to which some uninitiated
traveller would climb with delight from the shore and sit entranced by
the scene before him, all oblivious of the rising ocean till he was
completely cut off from escape. No shout would reach the ear of man from
that desolate giant's chair in the rock.

Gilliatt steered his ship nearer to the cliff, and saw that the shadow
was a man. The sea was already high. The rock was encircled. Gilliatt
drew nearer. The man was asleep.

He was attired in black, and looked like a priest. Gilliatt had never
seen him before. The fisherman wore off, skirted the rock wall, and,
approaching so close to the dangerous cliff that by standing on the
gunwale of his sloop he could touch the foot of the sleeper, succeeded
in arousing him.

The man roused, and muttered, "I was looking about."

Gilliatt bade him jump into the boat. When he had landed this young
priest, who had a somewhat feminine cast of features, a clear eye, and a
grave manner, Gilliatt perceived that he was holding out a sovereign in
a very white hand. Gilliatt moved the hand gently away. There was a
pause. Then the young man bowed, and left him.

Gilliatt had forgotten all about this stranger, when a voice hailed him.
It was one of the inhabitants, driving by quickly.

"There is news, Gilliatt--at the Bravees."

"What is it?"

"I am too hurried to tell you the story. Go up to the house, and you
will learn."

The Bravees was the residence of a man named Lethierry. He had raised
himself to a position of wealth by starting the first steamboat between
Guernsey and the coast of Normandy; he called this vessel La Durande;
the natives, who prophesied evil of such a frightful invention, called
it the Devil's Boat. But the Durande went to and fro without disaster,
and Lethierry's gold increased. There was nothing in all the universe he
loved so much as this marvellous ship worked by steam. Next to the
Durande, he most loved his pretty niece Derouchette, who kept house for
him.

One day as Gilliatt was walking over the snow-covered roads,
Derouchette, who was ahead of him, had stopped for a moment, and
stooping down, had written something with her finger in the snow. When
the fisherman reached the place, he found that the mischievous little
creature had written his name there. Ever since that hour, in the almost
unbroken solitude of his life, Gilliatt had thought about Derouchette.

Now that he heard of news at the Bravees, the lonely man made his way to
Lethierry's house, which was the nest of Derouchette.

The news was soon told. The Durande was lost! Presently, amid the
details of the story--the Durande had been wrecked in a fog on the
terrible rocks known as the Douvres--one thing emerged: the engines were
intact. To rescue the Durande was impossible; but the machinery might
still be saved. These engines were unique. To construct others like
them, money was wanting; but to find the artificer would have been still
more difficult. The constructor was dead. The machinery had cost two
thousand pounds. As long as these engines existed, it might almost be
said that there was no shipwreck. The loss of the engines alone was
irreparable.

Now, if ever a dream had appeared wild and impracticable, it was that of
saving the engines then embedded between the Douvres. The idea of
sending a crew to work upon those rocks was absurd. It was the season of
heavy seas. Besides, on the narrow ledge of the highest part of the rock
there was scarcely room for one person. To save the engines, therefore,
it would be necessary for a man to go to the Douvres, to be alone in
that sea, alone at five leagues from the coast, alone in that region of
terrors, for entire weeks, in the presence of dangers foreseen and
unforeseen--without supplies in the face of hunger and nakedness,
without companionship save that of death.

A pilot present in the room delivered judgment.

"No; it is all over. The man does not exist who could go there and
rescue the machinery of the Durande."

"If I don't go," said the engineer of the lost ship, who loved those
engines, "it is because nobody could do it"

"If he existed----" continued the pilot.

Derouchette turned her head impulsively, and interrupted.

"I would marry him," she said innocently.

There was a pause. A man made his way out of the crowd, and standing
before her, pale and anxious, said, "You would marry him, Miss
Derouchette?"

It was Gilliatt. All eyes were turned towards him. Lethierry had just
before stood upright and gazed about him. His eyes glittered with a
strange light. He took off his sailor's cap, and threw it on the ground;
then looked solemnly before him, and without seeing any of the persons
present, said Derouchette should be his. "I pledge myself to it in God's
name!"


_II.--The Prey of the Rocks_


The two perpendicular forms called the Douvres held fast between them,
like an architrave between two pillars, the wreck of the Durande. The
spectacle thus presented was a vast portal in the midst of the sea. It
might have been a titanic cromlech planted there in mid-ocean by hands
accustomed to proportion their labours to the great deep. Its wild
outline stood well defined against the clear sky when Gilliatt
approached in his sloop.

The rocks, thus holding fast and exhibiting their prey, were terrible to
behold. There was a menace in the attitude of the rocks. They seemed to
be biding their time. Nothing could be more suggestive of haughtiness
and arrogance: the conquered vessel, the triumphant abyss. The two
rocks, still streaming with the tempest of the day before, were like two
wrestlers sweating from a recent struggle. Up to a certain height they
were completely bearded with seaweed; above this their steep haunches
glittered at points like polished armour. They seemed ready to begin the
strife again. The imagination might have pictured them as two monstrous
arms, reaching upwards from the gulf, and exhibiting to the tempest the
lifeless body of the ship. If Gilliatt had known how she came to be
there, he might have been more awed by the tremendous spectacle. The
cause was an accident, and yet a purposed act.

Clubin, the captain, as smug a hypocrite as ever scuttled a ship, had
intended to run the Durande on the Hanways. His belt contained three
thousand pounds. He meant to lose the ship on the Hanways, a mile from
shore, and when the passengers had rowed away, pretending that he would
go down with the ship, Clubin purposed to swim to land, get on board a
pirate ship, and be off to the East. His little drama had been acted
out; the boats had rowed away, everybody praising Captain Clubin, who
would not abandon his ship. But when the fog cleared--horror of
horrors!--Clubin found himself not on the Hanways, but on the Douvres;
not one mile from shore, but five miles!

Clubin saw a ship in the distance. He determined to swim to a rock from
which he could be seen, and make signals of distress. He undressed,
leaving his clothing on deck. He retained nothing but his leather belt,
and then, precipitating himself head first, plunged into the sea. As he
dived from a height, he plunged heavily. He sank deep in the water,
touched the bottom, skirted for a moment the submarine rocks, then
struck out to regain the surface. At that moment he felt himself seized
by one foot.

But of all this Gilliatt, arriving at the Douvres, knew nothing. He was
absorbed by the spectacle of the ship held in mid-air. And what did he
find? The machinery was saved, but it was lost. The ocean saved it, only
to demolish it at leisure--like a cat playing with her prey. Its fate
was to suffer there, and to be dismembered day by day. It was to be the
plaything of the savage amusements of the sea. For what could be done?
That this vast block of mechanism and gear, at once massive and
delicate, condemned to fixity by its weight, delivered up in that
solitude to the destructive elements, could, under the frown of that
implacable spot, escape from slow destruction seemed a madness even to
imagine.

Gilliatt looked about him.

When he had made a lodging for himself, and had suffered the misfortune
of losing the basket containing his provisions, Gilliatt considered his
difficulties.

In order to raise the engine of the Durande from the wreck in which it
was three-fourths buried, with any chance of success--in order to
accomplish a salvage in such a place and such a season, it seemed almost
necessary to be a legion of men. Gilliatt was alone. A complete
apparatus of carpenter's and engineer's tools and implements were
wanted. Gilliatt had a saw, a hatchet, a chisel, and a hammer. He wanted
both a good workshop and a good shed; Gilliatt had not a roof to cover
him. Provisions, too, were necessary on that bare rock, but he had not
even bread.

Anyone who could have seen Gilliatt working on the rock during all that
first week might have been puzzled to determine the nature of his
operations. He seemed to be no longer thinking of the Durande or the two
Douvres. He was busy only among the breakers. He seemed absorbed in
saving the smaller parts of the shipwreck. He took advantage of every
high tide to strip the reefs of everything that the ship-wreck had
distributed among them. He went from rock to rock, picking up whatever
the sea had scattered--tatters of sail-cloth, pieces of iron, splinters
of panels, shattered planking, broken yards; here a beam, there a chain,
there a pulley.

He lived upon limpets, hermit-crabs, and rain-water. He was surrounded
by a screaming garrison of gulls, cormorants, and sea-mews. The deep
boom of the waves among the caves and reefs was never out of his ears.
By day he was roasted in the terrific heat which beat with pitiless
force on this exposed pinnacle; at night he was chilled to the marrow by
the cold of the open sea. And for ever he was hungry, thirsty--famished.

One day, in exploring for salvage some of the grottoes of his rock,
Gilliatt came upon a cave within a cave, so beautiful with sea-flowers
that it seemed the retreat of a sea-goddess. The shells were like
jewels; the water held eternal moonlight. Some of the flowers were like
sapphires. Standing in this dripping grotto, with his feet on the edge
of a probably bottomless pool, Gilliatt suddenly became aware in the
transparence of that water of the approach of some mystic form. A
species of long, ragged band was moving amid the oscillation of the
waves. It did not float, but darted about at its own will. It had an
object; was advancing somewhere rapidly. The thing had something of the
form of a jester's bauble with points, which hung flabby and undulating.
It seemed covered with a dust incapable of being washed away by the
water. It was more than horrible; it was foul. It seemed to be seeking
the darker portion of the cavern, where at last it vanished.

Gilliatt returned to his work. He had a notion. Since the time of the
carpenter-mason of Salbris, who, in the sixteenth century, without other
helper than a child, his son, with ill-fashioned tools, in the chamber
of the great clock at La Charite-sur-Loire, resolved at one stroke five
or six problems in statics and dynamics inextricably intervolved--since
the time of that grand and marvellous achievement of the poor workman,
who found means, without breaking a single piece of wire, without
throwing one of the teeth of the wheels out of gear, to lower in one
piece, by a marvellous simplification, from the second story of the
clock tower to the first, that massive clock, large as a room, nothing
that could be compared with the project which Gilliatt was meditating
had ever been attempted.

After incredible exertions, the machinery was ready for lowering into
the sloop. Gilliatt had constructed tackle, a regulating gear, and made
all sure. The long labour was finished; the first act had been the
simplest of all. He could put to sea. To-morrow he would be in Guernsey.

But no. He had waited for the tide to lift the sloop as near to the
suspended engines as possible, and now the funnel, which he had lowered
with the paddle-boxes, prevented the sloop from getting out of the
little gorge. It was necessary to wait for the tide to fall. Gilliatt
drew his sheepskin about him, pulled his cap over his eyes, and lying
down beside the engine, was soon asleep.

When he woke, it was to feel the coming of a storm. A fresh task was
forced upon this famished man. It was necessary to build a breakwater in
the gorge. He flew to this task. Nails driven into the cracks of the
rocks, beams lashed together with cordage, cat-heads from the Durande,
binding strakes, pulley-sheaves, chains--with these materials the
haggard dweller of the rock built his barrier against the wrath of God.

Then the storm came.


_III.--The Devil-Fish_


When the awful rage of the storm had passed, and the barrier which he
had repaired in the midst of the tempest hung like a broken arm across
the gorge, Gilliatt, maddened by hunger, took advantage of the receding
tide to go in search of crayfish. Half naked, and with his open knife
between his teeth, he sprang from rock to rock. In hunting a crab he
found himself once more in the mysterious grotto that glittered with
jewel-like flowers. He noticed a fissure above the level of the water.
The crab was probably there. He thrust in his hand as far as he was
able, and groped about in that dusky aperture.

Suddenly he felt himself seized by the arm. A strange, indescribable
horror thrilled through him.

Some living thing--thin, rough, flat, cold, slimy--had twisted itself
round his naked arm. It crept upward towards his chest. Its pressure was
like a tightening cord, its steady persistence like that of a screw. In
less than a moment some mysterious spiral form had passed round his
wrist and elbow, and had reached his shoulder. A sharp point penetrated
beneath the arm-pit.

Gilliatt recoiled; but he had scarcely power to move. He was, as it
were, nailed to the place. With his left hand, which was disengaged, he
seized his knife, and made a desperate effort to withdraw his arm. He
only succeeded in disturbing his persecutor, which wound itself still
tighter. It was supple as leather, strong as steel, cold as night.

A second form--sharp, elongated, and narrow--issued out of the crevice,
like a tongue out of monstrous jaws. It seemed to lick his naked body;
then, suddenly stretching out, it became longer and thinner, as it crept
over his skin, and wound itself round him. A terrible sense of anguish,
comparable to nothing he had ever known, compelled all his muscles to
contract. He felt upon his skin a number of flat, rounded points. It
seemed as if innumerable suckers had fastened to his flesh, and were
about to drink his blood.

A third long, undulating shape issued from the hole in the rock, felt
about his body, lashed round his ribs like a cord, and fixed itself
there. There was sufficient light for Gilliatt to see the repulsive
forms which had entangled themselves about him. A fourth ligature, but
this one swift as an arrow, darted towards his stomach.

These living things crept and glided about him; he felt the points of
pressure, like sucking mouths, change their places from time to time.

Suddenly a large, round, flattened, glutinous mass shot from beneath the
crevice. It was the centre! The thongs were attached to it like spokes
to the nave of a wheel. In the middle of this slimy mass appeared two
eyes. The eyes were fixed on Gilliatt.

He recognised the devil-fish.

Gilliatt had but one resource--his knife.

He knew that these frightful monsters are vulnerable in only one
point--the head. Standing half naked in the water, his body lashed by
the foul antennae of the devil-fish, Gilliatt looked at the devil-fish
and the devilfish looked at Gilliatt.

With the devil-fish, as with a furious bull, there is a certain moment
in the conflict which must be seized. It is the instant when the bull
lowers its neck; it is the instant when the devil-fish advances its
head. The movement is rapid. He who loses that moment is destroyed.

Suddenly it loosened another antenna from the rock, and darting it at
him, seized him by the left arm. At the same moment it advanced its
head.

Rapid as was this movement, Gilliatt, by a gigantic effort, plunged the
blade of his knife into the flat, slimy substance, and with a movement
like the flourish of a whip, described a circle round the eyes and
wrenched off the head as a man would draw a tooth.

The four hundred suckers dropped at once from the man and the rock. The
mass sank to the bottom of the water.

Nearly exhausted, Gilliatt plunged into the water to heal by friction
the numberless purple swellings which were pricking all over his body.
He advanced up the recess. Something caught his eye. He approached
nearer. The thing was a bleached skeleton; nothing was left but the
white bones. Yes, something else. A leather belt and a tobacco-tin. On
the belt Gilliatt read the name of Clubin; in the tobacco-tin, which he
opened with his knife, he found three thousand pounds.

When Gilliatt reached his sloop, with this belt and box in his
possession, he found, to his unspeakable horror, that she had been
making water fast. Had he come an hour later he would have found nothing
above water but the funnel of the steamer.

He slung a tarpaulin by chains overboard and hung it over the hole.
Pressure of the sea held it tight. The wound was stanched. Gilliatt
began to bale for dear life. As he emptied the hole the tarpaulin bulged
in, as if a fist were pushing it from outside. He ran for his clothes;
brought them, and stuffed them into the wound.

He was saved--for a few moments.

Death was certain. He had succeeded in the impossible, to fail in what a
shipwright might have mended in a few minutes.

Upon that solitary rock he had been subjected by turns to all the varied
and cruel tortures of nature. He had conquered his isolation, conquered
hunger, conquered thirst, conquered cold, conquered fever, conquered
labour, conquered sleep. A dismal irony was then the end of all.
Gilliatt climbed to the top of the rock and gazed wildly into space. He
had no clothing. He stood naked in the midst of that immensity.

Then, overwhelmed by the sense of that unknown infinity, like one
bewildered by a strange persecution, confronting the shadows of night,
in the midst of the murmur of the waves, the swell, the foam, the
breeze, under that vast diffusion of force, having around him and
beneath him the ocean, above him the constellations, under him the great
unfathomable deep, he sank, gave up the struggle, laid down upon the
rock, humbled, and uplifting his joined hands towards the terrible
depths, he cried aloud, "Have mercy!"

When he issued from his swoon, the sun was high in a cloudless sky. The
blessed heat had saved the poor, broken, naked man upon the rock. He
rose up refreshed, and filled with divine energy. A day's work sufficed
to mend the gap in the sloop's side. On the following day, dressed in
the tattered garments which had stuffed the rent, with a favourable
breeze and a good sea, Gilliatt pushed off from the Douvres.


_IV.--Fate's Last Blow_


Gilliatt arrived in harbour at night. He went ashore in his rags, and
hovered for a while about the darkness of Lethierry's house. Then he
made his way into the garden, like an animal returning to its hole. He
sat himself down and looked about him. He saw the garden, the pathways,
the beds of flowers, the house, the two windows of Derouchette's
chamber. He felt it horrible to be obliged to breathe; he did what he
could to prevent it.

To see those windows was almost too much happiness for Gilliatt.

Suddenly he saw her.

Derouchette approached. She stopped. She walked back a few paces,
stopped again; then returned and sat upon a wooden bench. The moon was
in the trees; a few clouds floated among the pale stars; the sea
murmured to the shadows in an undertone.

Gilliatt felt a thrill through him. He was the most miserable and yet
the happiest of men. He knew not what to do. His delirious joy at seeing
her annihilated him. He gazed upon her neck--her hair.

A noise aroused them both--her from her reverie, him from his ecstasy.
Someone was walking in the garden. It was the footsteps of a man.
Derouchette raised her eyes. The footsteps drew nearer, then ceased.
Accident had so placed the branches that Derouchette could see the
newcomer while Gilliatt could not. He looked at Derouchette.

She was quite pale; her mouth was partly open, as with a suppressed cry
of surprise. Her surprise was enchantment mingled with timidity. She
seemed as if transfigured by that presence; as if the being whom she saw
before her belonged not to this earth.

The stranger, who was to Gilliatt only a shadow, spoke. A voice issued
from the trees, softer than the voice of a woman; yet it was the voice
of a man. Gilliatt heard many words, then, "Mademoiselle, you are poor;
since this morning I am rich. Will you have me for your husband? I love
you. God made not the heart of man to be silent. He has promised him
eternity with the intention that he should not be alone. There is for me
but one woman on the earth; it is you. I think of you as of a prayer. My
faith is in God, and my hope in you."

Gilliatt heard them talking--the woman he loved, the man whose shadow
lay upon the path. Presently he heard the invisible man exclaim:
"Mademoiselle! You are silent."

"What would you have me say?"

The man said, "I wait for your reply."

"God has heard it," answered Derouchette.

Then she went forward; a moment afterwards, instead of one shadow upon
the path, there were two. They mingled together, and became one.
Gilliatt saw at his feet the embrace of those two shadows.

Suddenly a noise burst forth at a distance. A voice was heard crying
"Help!" and the harbour bell rang out on the night air.

It was Lethierry ringing the bell furiously. He had wakened, and seen
the funnel of the Durande in the harbour. The sight had driven him
almost crazy. He rushed out crying "Help!" and pulling the great bell of
the harbour. Suddenly he stopped abruptly. A man had just turned the
corner of the quay. It was Gilliatt. Lethierry rushed at him, embraced
him, hugged him, cried over him, and dragged him into the lower room of
the Bravees. "Give me your word that I am not crazy!" he kept crying.
"It can't be true. Not a tap, not a pin missing. It is incredible. We
have only to put in a little oil. What a revolution! You are my child,
my son, my Providence. Brave lad! To go and fetch my good old engine. In
the open sea among those cut-throat rocks. I have seen some strange
things in my life; nothing like that."

Gilliatt gave him the belt and the box containing the three thousand
pounds stolen by Clubin. Again Lethierry was thrown into a wild
amazement. "Did anyone ever see a man like Gilliatt?" he concluded. "I
was struck down to the ground, I was a dead man. He comes and sets me up
again as firm as ever. And all the while I was never thinking of him. He
had gone clean out of my mind; but I recollect everything now. Poor lad!
Ah, by the way, you know you are to marry Derouchette."

Gilliatt leaned with his back against the wall, like one who staggers,
and said, in a tone very low, but distinct, "No."

Lethierry started. "How, no?"

"I do not love her."

Lethierry laughed that idea to scorn. He was wild with joy. Gilliatt,
his son, his preserver, should marry Derouchette--he, and none other.
Neighbours had begun to flock in, roused by the bell. The room was
crowded. Derouchette presently glided in, and was espied by Lethierry in
the crowd. He seized her; told her the news. "We are rich again! And you
shall marry the prodigy who has done this thing." His eye fell upon the
man who had followed Derouchette into the room; it was the young priest
whom Gilliatt had rescued from the seat in the rock. "Ah, you are there,
Monsieur le Cure," exclaimed the old man; "you will marry these young
people for us. There's a fine fellow!" he cried, and pointed to
Gilliatt.

Gilliatt's appearance was hideous. He was in the condition in which he
had that morning set sail from the rocks--in rags, his bare elbows
showing through his sleeves, his beard long, his hair rough and wild,
his eyes bloodshot, his skin peeling, his hands covered with wounds, his
feet naked and torn. Some of the blisters left by the devil-fish were
still visible upon his arms.

"This is my son-in-law!" cried Lethierry. "How he has struggled with the
sea! He is all in rags. What shoulders! What hands! There's a splendid
fellow!"

But Lethierry did not know Gilliatt. The poor broken creature escaped
from the room. He himself made all the arrangements for the marriage of
the priest and Derouchette; he placed the special license in their
hands, secured a priest for the purpose, and secured passages for them
in the ship waiting in the roads for England.

When he had done all this, he made his way to the seat in the cliff, and
sat there waiting to see the ship appear round the bight and disappear
on the horizon.

The ship appeared with the slowness of a phantom. Gilliatt watched it.
Suddenly a touch and a sensation of cold caused him to look down. The
sea had reached his feet.

He lowered his eyes, then raised them again. The ship was quite near.
The rock in which the rains had hollowed out this giant's seat was so
completely vertical, and there was so much water at its base, that in
calm weather vessels were able to pass without danger within a few
cables' length.

The ship was already abreast of the rock. Gilliatt could see the stir of
life on the sunlit deck. The deck was as visible as if he had stood upon
it. He saw bride and bridegroom sitting side by side, like two birds,
warming themselves in the noonday sun. A celestial light was in those
two faces formed by innocence. The silence was like the calm of heaven.

The vessel passed. He watched her till her masts and sails formed only a
white obelisk, gradually decreasing against the horizon. He felt that
the water had reached his waist. Sea-mews and cormorants flew about him
restlessly, as if anxious to warn him of his danger.

The ship was rapidly growing less.

There was no foam around the rock where he sat; no wave beat against its
granite sides. The water rose peacefully. It was nearly level with
Gilliatt's shoulders.

The birds were hovering about him, uttering short cries. Only his head
was now visible. The tide was nearly at the full. Evening was
approaching.

Gilliatt's eyes continued fixed upon the vessel on the horizon. Their
expression resembled nothing earthly. A strange lustre shone in their
calm and tragic depths. There was in them the peace of vanished hopes,
the calm but sorrowful acceptance of an end far different from his
dreams. By degrees the dusk of heaven began to dawn in them, though
gazing still upon the point in space. At the same moment the wide waters
round the rock and the vast gathering twilight closed upon them.

At the moment when the vessel vanished on the horizon, the head of
Gilliatt disappeared. Nothing now was visible but the sea.

       *       *       *       *       *




The Man Who Laughs


     "The Man Who Laughs" ("L'Homme qui Rit") was called by its
     author "A Romance of English History," and was written during
     the period Hugo spent in exile in Guernsey. Like "The Toilers
     of the Sea," its immediate predecessor, the main theme of the
     story is human heroism, confronted with the superhuman tyranny
     of blind chance. As a passionate cry on behalf of the tortured
     and deformed, and the despised and oppressed of the world,
     "The Man Who Laughs" is irresistible. Of it Hugo himself says
     in the preface: "The true title of this book should be
     'Aristocracy'"--inasmuch as it was intended as an arraignment
     of the nobility for their vices, crimes, and selfishness. "The
     Man Who Laughs" was first published in 1869.


_I.--The Child_


Ursus and Homo were old friends. Ursus was a man, Homo a wolf. The two
went about together from town to town, from country-side to
country-side. Ursus lived in a small van upon wheels which Homo drew by
day and guarded by night.

Ursus was a juggler, a ventriloquist, a doctor, and a misanthrope. He
was also something of a poet. The wolf and he had grown old together.

One bitterly cold night in January 1690, when Ursus and his van were at
Weymouth, a small vessel put off from Portland. It contained a dozen
people, and it left behind on the rock, and alone, a small boy.

The people were called Comprachicos. They bought children, and
understood how to mutilate and deform them, thus making them valuable
for exhibition at fairs. But an act of parliament had just been passed
to destroy the trade of the Comprachicos. Hence this flight from
Portland, and the forsaking of the child.

The vessel was wrecked and all on board perished off the coast of
France, but not before one of the passengers had inscribed on a piece of
parchment the name of the child and the name of a certain English
prisoner who could identify the child. This parchment was sealed in a
bottle and left to the waves.

The child watched the disappearance of the boat. He was stupefied at
finding himself alone; the men who had left him were the only people he
had ever known, and they had failed him. He did not know where he was,
but he knew that he must seek food and shelter. It was very cold and
dark, and the boy was barefoot, but he made his way across Portland and
the Chesil bank, and gained the mainland.

He found in the snow a footprint, and set out to follow it. Presently he
heard a groan, and came to the end of the footprints. The woman, a
beggar-woman who had lost her way, had uttered the groan. She had sunk
down in the snow, and was dead when the boy found her. He heard a cry,
and discovered a baby, wretched with cold, but still alive, clinging to
its dead mother's breast.

The boy took the baby in his arms. Forsaken himself, he had heard the
cry of distress, and wrapping the infant in his coat, he pursued his
journey in the teeth of the freezing wind. Four hours had passed since
the boat had sailed away; this baby was the first living person the boy
had met.

Struggling along with his burden, the boy reached Weymouth, then a
hamlet, and a suburb of the town and port of Melcombe Regis. He knocked
at doors and windows; no one stirred. For one thing, everybody was
asleep, and those who were awakened by the knock were afraid of opening
a window, for fear of some sick vagabond being outside.

Suddenly the boy heard in the darkness a grinding of teeth and a growl.
The silence was so dreadful that he was glad of the noise, and moved in
the direction whence it came. He saw a carriage on wheels, with smoke
coming out of the roof through a funnel, and a light within.

Something perceived his approach and growled furiously and tugged at its
chain. At the same time a head was put out of a window in the van.

"Be quiet there!" said the head, and the noise ceased. "Is anyone
there?" said the head again.

"Yes, I," said the child.

"You? Who are you?"

"I am very tired and cold and hungry," said the child.

"We can't all be as happy as a lord. Go away!" said the head, and the
window was shut down.

The child turned away in despair. But no sooner was the window shut than
the door at the top of the steps opened, and the same voice called out
from within the van, "Well, why don't you come in? What sort of a fellow
is this who is cold and hungry, and who stays outside?"

The boy climbed up the three steps with difficulty, carrying the baby,
and hesitated for a moment at the door. On the ceiling was written in
large letters:

    URSUS, PHILOSOPHER

It was the house of Ursus the child had come to. Homo had been growling,
Ursus speaking.

The child made out near the stove an elderly man, who, as he stood,
reached the roof of the caravan.

"Come in! Put down your bundle!" said Ursus. "How wet you are, and half
frozen! Take off those rags, you young villain!"

He tore off the boy's rags, clothed him in a man's shirt and a knitted
jacket, rubbed the boy's limbs and feet with a woollen rag, found there
was nothing frost-bitten, and gave him his own scanty supper to eat.

"I have worked all day and far into the night on an empty stomach,"
muttered Ursus, "and now this dreadful boy swallows up my food. However,
it's all one. He shall have the bread, the potato, and the bacon, but I
will have the milk."

Just then the infant began to wail. Ursus fed it with the milk by means
of a small bottle, took off the tatters in which it was wrapped, and
swathed it in a large piece of dry, clean linen.

When the boy had finished his supper, Ursus asked him who he was, but he
could get no answer save that he had been abandoned that night.

"But you must have relations, since you have this baby sister."

"It is not my sister; it is a baby that I found."

Ursus listened to the boy's story. Then he brought out an old bearskin,
laid it on a chest, placed the sleeping infant on this, and told the boy
to lie down beside the baby. Ursus rolled the bearskin over the
children, tucked it under their feet, and went out into the night to see
if the woman could be saved.

He returned at dawn; his efforts had been fruitless. The boy had
awakened at hearing Ursus, and for the first time the latter saw his
face.

"What are you laughing at? You are frightful! Who did that to you?" said
Ursus.

The boy answered, "I am not laughing. I have always been like this."

Ursus turned away, and muttered, "I thought that sort of work was out of
date." He took down an old book, and read in Latin that, by slitting the
mouth and performing other operations in childhood, the face would
become a mask whose owner would be always laughing.

At that moment the infant awoke, and Ursus gave it what was left of the
milk.

The baby girl was blind. Ursus had already decided that he and Homo
would adopt the two children.


_II.--Gwynplaine and Dea_


Gwynplaine was a mountebank. As soon as he exhibited himself all who saw
him laughed. His laugh created the laughter of others, though he did not
laugh himself. It was his face only that laughed, and laughed always
with an everlasting laugh.

Fifteen years had passed since the night when the boy came to the
caravan at Weymouth, and Gwynplaine was now twenty-five. Ursus had kept
the two children with him; the blind girl he called Dea. The boy said he
had always been called Gwynplaine. Of course the two were in love.

Gwynplaine adored Dea, and Dea idolised Gwynplaine.

"You are beautiful," she would say to him. The crowd only saw his face;
for Dea, Gwynplaine was the person who had saved her from the tomb, and
who was always kind and good-tempered. "The blind see the invisible,"
said Ursus.

The old caravan had given way to a great van--called the Green
Box--drawn by a pair of stout horses. Gwynplaine had become famous. In
every fair-ground the crowd ran after him.

In 1705 the Green Box arrived in London and was established at
Southwark, in the yard of the Tadcaster Inn. A placard was hung up with
the following inscription, composed by Ursus:

"Here can be seen Gwynplaine, deserted, when he was ten years old, on
January 29, 1690, on the coast of Portland, by the rascally
Comprachicos. The boy now grown up is known as 'The Man who Laughs.'"

All Southwark came to see Gwynplaine, and soon people heard of him on
the other side of London Bridge, and crowds came from the City to the
Tadcaster Inn. It was not long before the fashionable world itself was
drawn to the Laughing Man.

One morning a constable and an officer of the High Court summoned
Gwynplaine to Southwark Gaol. Ursus watched him disappear behind the
heavy door with a heavy heart.

Gwynplaine was taken down flights of stairs and dark passages till he
reached the torture-chamber. A man's body lay on the ground on its back.
Its four limbs, drawn to four columns by chains, were in the position of
a St. Andrew's Cross. A plate of iron, with five or six large stones,
was placed on the victim's chest. On a seat close by sat an old man--the
sheriff of the county of Surrey.

"Come closer," said the sheriff to Gwynplaine. Then he addressed the
wretched man on the floor, who for four days, in spite of torture, had
kept silence.

"Speak, unhappy man. Have pity on yourself. Do what is required of you.
Open your eyes, and see if you know this man."

The prisoner saw Gwynplaine. Raising his head he looked at him, and then
cried out, "That's him! Yes--that's him!"

"Registrar, take down that statement," said the sheriff.

The cry of the prisoner overwhelmed Gwynplaine. He was terrified by a
confession that was unintelligible to him, and began in his distress to
stammer and protest his innocence. "Have pity on me, my lord. You have
before you only a poor mountebank--"

"I have before me," said the sheriff, "Lord Fermain Clancharlie, Baron
Clancharlie and Hunkerville, and a peer of England!"

Then the sheriff, rising, offered his seat with a bow to Gwynplaine,
saying, "My lord, will you please to be seated?"


_III.--The House of Lords_


Before he left the prison the sheriff explained to Gwynplaine how it was
he was Lord Clancharlie.

The bottle containing the documents which had been thrown into the sea
in January 1690 had at last come to shore, and had been duly received at
the Admiralty by a high official named Barkilphedro.

This document declared that the child abandoned by those on the sinking
vessel was the only child of Lord Fermain Clancharlie, deceased. At the
age of two it had been sold, disfigured, and put out of the way by order
of King James II. Its parents were dead, and a man named Hardquanonne,
now in prison at Chatham, had performed the mutilation, and would
recognise the child, who was called Gwynplaine. Being about to die, the
signatories to the document confessed their guilt in abducting the
child, and could not, in the face of death, refrain from acknowledgment
of their crime.

The prisoner Hardquanonne had been found at Chatham, and he had
recognised Gwynplaine. Hardquanonne died of the tortures he had
suffered, but just before his death he said, "I swore to keep the
secret, and I have kept it as long as I could. We did it between us--the
king and I. Silence is no longer any good. This is the man."

What was the reason for the hatred of James II. to the child?

This. Lord Clancharlie had taken the side of Cromwell against Charles
I., and had gone into exile in Switzerland rather than acknowledge
Charles II. as king. On the death of this nobleman James II. had
declared his estates forfeit, and the title extinct, believing that the
heir was lost beyond possible recovery. On David Dirry-Moir, an
illegitimate son of Lord Clancharlie, were the peerage and estates
conferred, on condition that he married a certain Duchess Josiana, an
illegitimate daughter of James II.

How was it Gwynplaine was restored to his inheritance?

Anne was Queen of England when the bottle was taken to the Admiralty in
1705, and shared with the high official whose business it was to attend
to all flotsam and jetsam, a cordial dislike of Duchess Josiana. It
seemed to the Queen an excellent thing that Josiana should have to marry
this frightful man, and as for David Dirry-Moir he could be made an
admiral. Anne consulted the Lord Chancellor privately, and he strongly
advised, without blaming James II., that Gwynplaine must be restored to
the peerage.

Gwynplaine, without having time to return to the Green Box, was carried
off by Barkilphedro to one of his country houses, near Windsor, and
bidden the next day take his seat in the House of Lords. He had entered
the terrible prison in Southwark expecting the iron collar of a felon,
and he had placed on his head the coronet of a peer. Barkilphedro had
told him that a man could not be made a peer without his own consent;
that Gwynplaine, the mountebank, must make room for Lord Clancharlie, if
the peerage was accepted; and he had made his decision.

On awakening the next morning he thought of Dea. Then came a royal
summons to appear in the House of Lords, and Gwynplaine returned to
London in a carriage provided by the queen. The secret of his face was
still unknown when he entered the House of Lords, for the Lord
Chancellor had not been informed of the nature of the deformation. The
investiture took place on the threshold of the House, then very ill-lit,
and two very old and half-blind noblemen acted as sponsors at the Lord
Chancellor's request. The whole ceremony was enacted in a sort of
twilight, for the Lord Chancellor was anxious to avoid any sensation.

In less than half an hour the sitting was full. Gossip was already at
work about the new Lord Clancharlie. Several peers had seen the Laughing
Man, and they now heard that he was already in the Upper House; but no
one noticed him until he rose to speak.

His face was terrible, and the whole House looked with horror upon him.

"What does all this mean?" cried the Earl of Wharton, an old and much
respected peer. "Who has brought this man into the House? Who are you?
Where do you come from?"

Gwynplaine answered, "I come from the depths. I am misery. My lords, I
have a message for you."

The House shuddered, but listened, and Gwynplaine continued.

"My lords, among you I am called Lord Fermain Clancharlie, but my real
name is one of poverty--Gwynplaine. I have grown up in poverty; frozen
by winter, and made wretched by hunger. Yesterday I was in the rags of a
clown. Can you realise what misery means? Before it is too late try and
understand that our system of society is a false one."

But the House rocked with uncontrollable laughter at the face of
Gwynplaine. In vain he pleaded with those who sat around him not to
laugh at misery.

They refused to listen, and the sitting broke up in confusion, the Lord
Chancellor adjourning the House. Gwynplaine went out of the House alone.


_IV.--Night and the Sea_


Ursus waited for some time after seeing Gwynplaine disappear within
Southwark Gaol, then he returned sadly to Tadcaster Inn. That very night
the corpse of Hardquanonne was brought out from the gaol and buried in
the cemetery hard by, and Ursus, who had returned to the prison gate,
watched the procession, and saw the coffin carried to the grave.

"They have killed him! Gwynplaine, my son, is dead!" cried Ursus, and he
burst into tears.

The following morning the sheriff's officer, accompanied by
Barkliphedro, waited on Ursus, and told him he must leave Southwark, and
leave England. The last hope in the soul of Ursus died when Barkilphedro
said gravely that Gwynplaine was dead.

Ursus bent his head.

The sentence on Gwynplaine had been executed--death. His sentence was
pronounced--exile. Nothing remained for Ursus but to obey. He felt as if
in a dream.

Within two hours Ursus, Homo, and Dea were on board a Dutch vessel which
was shortly to leave a wharf at London Bridge. The sheriff ordered the
Tadcaster Inn to be shut up.

Gwynplaine found the vessel.

He had left the House of Lords in despair. He had made his effort, and
the result was derision. The future was terrible. Dea was his wife, he
had lost her, and he would be spurned by Josiana. He had lost Ursus, and
gained nothing but insult. Let David take the peerage; he, Gwynplaine,
would return to the Green Box. Why had he ever consented to be Lord
Clancharlie?

He wandered from Westminster to Southwark, only to find the Tadcaster
Inn shut up, and the yard empty. It seemed he had lost Ursus and Dea for
ever. He turned and gazed into the deep waters by London Bridge. The
river in its darkness offered a resting place where he might find peace.

He got ready to mount the masonry and spring over, when he felt a tongue
licking his hands. He turned, and Homo was behind him. Gwynplaine
uttered a cry. Homo wagged his tail. Then the wolf led the way down a
narrow platform to the wharf, and Gwynplaine followed him. On the vessel
alongside the wharf was the old wooden tenement, very worm-eaten and
rotten now, in which Ursus lived when the boy first came to him at
Weymouth. Gwynplaine listened. It was Ursus talking to Dea.

"Be calm, my child. All will come right. You do not understand what it
is to rupture a blood-vessel. You must rest. To-morrow we shall be at
Rotterdam."

"Father," Dea answered, "when two beings have always been together from
infancy, and that state is disturbed, death must come. I am not ill, but
I am going to die."

She raised herself on the mattress, crying in delirium, "He is no longer
here, no longer here. How dark it is!" Gwynplaine came to her side, and
Dea laid her hand on his head.

"Gwynplaine!" she cried.

And Gwynplaine received her in his arms.

"Yes, it is I, Gwynplaine. I am here. I hold you in my arms. Dea, we
live. All our troubles are over. Nothing can separate us now. We will
renew our old happy life. We are going to Holland. We will marry. There
is nothing to fear."

"I don't understand it in the least," said Ursus. "I, who saw him
carried to the grave. I am as great a fool as if I were in love myself.
But, Gwynplaine, be careful with her."

The vessel started. They passed Chatham and the mouth of the Medway, and
approached the sea.

Suddenly Dea got up.

"Something's the matter with me," she said. "What is wrong? You have
brought life to me, my Gwynplaine, life and joy. And yet I feel as if my
soul could not be contained in my body."

She flushed, then became very pale, and fell. They lifted her up, and
Dea laid her head on Gwynplaine's shoulder. Then, with a sigh of
inexpressible sadness, she said, "I know what this is. I am dying." Her
voice grew weaker and weaker.

"An hour ago I wanted to die. Now I want to live. How happy we have
been! You will remember the old Green Box, won't you, and poor blind
Dea? I love you all, my father Ursus, and my brother Homo, very dearly.
You are all so good. I do not understand what has happened these last
two days, but now I am dying. Everything is fading away. Gwynplaine, you
will think of me, won't you? Come to me as soon as you can. Do not leave
me alone long. Oh! I cannot breathe! My beloved!"

Gwynplaine pressed his mouth to her beautiful icy hands. For a moment it
seemed as if she had ceased to breathe. Then her voice rang out clearly.

"Light!" she cried. "I can see!"

With that Dea fell back stiff and motionless on the mattress.

"Dead!" said Ursus.

And the poor old philosopher, crushed by his despair, bowed his head,
and buried his face in the folds of the gown which covered Dea's feet.
He lay there unconscious.

Gwynplaine started up, stretched his hands on high, and said, "I come."

He strode across the deck, towards the side of the vessel, as if
beckoned by a vision. A smile came upon his face, such as Dea had just
worn. One step more.

"I am coming, Dea; I am coming," he said.

There was no bulwark, the abyss of waters was before him; he strode into
it, and fell. The night was dark and heavy, the water deep. He
disappeared calmly and silently. None saw nor heard him. The ship sailed
on, and the river flowed out to the sea.

       *       *       *       *       *




ELIZABETH INCHBALD


A Simple Story


     The maiden name of Mrs. Inchbald, actress, novelist,
     dramatist, and society favourite, was Elizabeth Simpson, and
     she was the daughter of a farmer living near Bury St. Edmunds,
     where she was born on October 15, 1753. At the age of eighteen
     she ran away to London, under the influence of romantic
     expectations, which were realised by a sudden marriage with
     Joseph Inchbald, the actor. After seventeen years on the
     stage, without attaining conspicuous success, Mrs. Inchbald
     retired, and devoted herself to the writing of novels and
     plays and the collection of theatrical literature. Her first
     novel, written in 1791, was "A Simple Story." With "Nature and
     Art," a tale written later, it has kept a place among the
     fiction that is reprinted for successive generations. In later
     years Mrs. Inchbald lived quietly on her savings, retaining a
     flattering social position by her beauty and cleverness. She
     died on August 1, 1821.


_I.--The Priest's Ward_


Dorriforth, bred at St. Omer's in all the scholastic rigour of that
college, was, by education and the solemn vows of his order, a Roman
Catholic priest. He was about thirty, and refusing to shelter himself
from the temptations of the layman by the walls of a cloister, but
finding that shelter in his own prudence, justice, fortitude, and
temperance, had lived in London near five years, when a gentleman with
whom he had contracted a most sincere friendship died, and left him the
sole guardian of his daughter, who was then eighteen.

It is in this place proper to remark that Mr. Milner was a member of the
Church of Rome, but his daughter had been educated in her dead mother's
religion at a boarding-school for Protestants, whence she had returned
with her little heart employed in all the endless pursuits of personal
accomplishments, and her mind left without one ornament, except such as
nature gave.

She had been visiting at Bath when her father died. Therefore, Mr.
Dorriforth, together with Miss Woodley, the middle-aged niece of the
widow lady, Mrs. Horton, who kept his house, journeyed midway to meet
her. But when the carriage stopped at the inn-gate, and her name was
announced, he turned pale--something like a foreboding of disaster
trembled at his heart--and Miss Woodley was obliged to be the first to
welcome his lovely charge--lovely beyond description.

But the natural vivacity, the gaiety which report had given to Miss
Milner, were softened by her recent sorrow to a meek sadness. The
instant Dorriforth was introduced to her as her "guardian, and her
deceased father's most beloved friend," she burst into tears, and
kneeling before him, promised ever to obey him as a father. She told him
artlessly she had expected him to be elderly and plain. He was somewhat
embarrassed, but replied that she should find him a plain man in all his
actions; and in the conversation which followed, in which she had
somewhat lightly referred to his faith, begged that religion should not
be named between them, for, as he had resolved never to persecute her,
in pity she should be grateful, and not persecute him.

Among the many visitors who attended her levees during the following
weeks was Lord Frederick Lawnly, whose intimacy with her Dorriforth
beheld with alternate pain and pleasure. He wished to see his charge
married, yet he trembled for her happiness under the care of a young
nobleman immersed in all the vices of the town. His uneasiness made him
desire her to forbid Lord Frederick's visits, who, alarmed, confounded,
and provoked, remonstrated passionately.

"By heaven, I believe Mr. Dorriforth loves you himself, and it is
jealousy which makes him treat me in this way!"

"For shame, my lord!" cried Miss Woodley, trembling with horror at the
sacrilegious idea.

"Nay, shame to him if he is not in love!" answered his lordship. "For
who but a savage could behold beauty like yours without owning its
power? And surely when your guardian looks at you, his wishes------"

"Are never less pure," Miss Milner replied eagerly, "than those which
dwell in the bosom of my celestial guardian."

At this moment Dorriforth entered the room.

"What's the matter?" cried he, looking with concern on his discomposure.

"A compliment paid by herself to you, sir," replied Lord Frederick, "has
affected your ward in the manner you have seen." And then he changed the
subject with an air of ridicule, while Miss Milner threw open the sash,
and leaned her head from the window to conceal the embarrassment his
implication had caused her.

Although Dorriforth was a good man, there was an obstinacy in his nature
which sometimes degenerated into implacable stubbornness. The child of a
sister once beloved, who married a young officer against her brother's
consent, was left an orphan, destitute of all support but from his
uncle's generosity; but, although Dorriforth maintained him, he would
never see him. Miss Milner brought the boy to town once to present him
to his uncle, but no sooner did he hear Harry Rushbrook's name than he
set him off his knee, and, calling for his hat, walked instantly from
the house, although dinner had just been served.

About this time Miss Milner had the humiliation of having Miss Fenton
held up to her as a pattern for her to follow; but, instead of being
inspired to emulation, she was provoked to envy. Young, beautiful,
elegant, Miss Fenton was betrothed to Lord Elmwood, Mr. Dorriforth's
cousin; and Dorriforth, whose heart was not formed--at least, not
educated--for love, beheld in her the most perfect model for her sex.

Not to admire Miss Fenton was impossible. To find one fault with her was
equally impossible, and yet to love her was unlikely. But Mr. Sandford,
Dorriforth's old tutor, and rigid monitor and friend, adored her, and
often, with a shake of his head and a sigh, would he say to Miss Milner,
"No, I am not so hard upon you as your guardian. I only desire you to
love Miss Fenton; to resemble her, I believe, is above your ability."

As a Jesuit, he was a man of learning, and knew the hearts of women as
well as those of men. He saw Miss Milner's heart at the first view of
her person, and beholding in that little circumference a weight of folly
that he wished to eradicate, he began to toil in the vineyard, eagerly
courting her detestation of him in the hope of also making her abominate
herself. In the mortification of slights he was an expert, and humbled
her in her own opinion more than a thousand sermons would have done. She
would have been cured of all her pride had she not possessed a degree of
spirit beyond the generality of her sex!


_II.--The Priest Marries His Ward_


Finding Dorriforth frequently perplexed by his guardianship, Mr.
Sandford advised that a suitable match should immediately be sought for
her; but she refused so many offers that, believing her affections were
set upon Lord Frederick, he insisted that she should be taken into the
country at once. Her ready compliance delighted Dorriforth, and for six
weeks all around was the picture of tranquillity. Then Lord Frederick
suddenly appeared at the door as she alighted from her coach, and
seizing her hand, entreated her "not to desert him in compliance with
the injunctions of monkish hypocrisy."

Dorriforth heard this, standing silently by, with a manly scorn upon his
countenance; but on Miss Milner's struggling to release her hand, which
Lord Frederick was devouring with kisses, with an instantaneous impulse
he rushed forward and struck him a violent blow in the face. Then,
leading her to her own chamber, covered with shame and confusion for
what he had done, he fell on his knees before her, and earnestly
"entreated her forgiveness for the indelicacy he had been guilty of in
her presence."

To see her guardian at her feet struck her with a sense of impropriety
as if she had seen a parent there. All agitation and emotion, she
implored him to rise, and, with a thousand protestations, declared "that
she thought the rashness of his action was the highest proof of his
regard for her."

Finding that Lord Frederick had gone when he had resigned the care of
his ward to Miss Woodley, Dorriforth returned to his own apartment with
a bosom torn by excruciating sensations. He had departed from his sacred
character, and the dignity of his profession and sentiments; he had
treated with unpardonable insult a young nobleman whose only offence was
love; he had offended and filled with horror a beautiful young woman
whom it was his duty to protect from those brutal manners to which he
himself had exposed her.

The outcome of this incident was a duel, to prevent which Miss Milner
deceived him by confessing a passion for Lord Frederick, although to
Miss Woodley she avowed the real truth, that it was Dorriforth she
loved.

"Do you suppose I love Lord Frederick? Do you suppose I _can_ love him?
Oh, fly, and prevent my guardian from telling him this untruth! This
duel is horrible even beyond anything else! Oh, Miss Woodley, pity the
agonies of my heart, my heart by nature sincere, when such are the fatal
propensities it cherishes that I must submit to the grossest falsehoods
rather than reveal the truth! Are you so blind," she exclaimed, "as to
believe I do not care for Mr. Dorriforth? Oh, Miss Woodley, I love him
with all the passion of a woman, and with all the tenderness of a wife!"

"Silence!" cried Miss Woodley, struck with horror. Yet, amidst all her
grief and abhorrence, pity was still predominant, and, seeing her
friend's misery, she did all she could to comfort her. But she was
resolved that she should leave home, and, on pain of revealing her
secret to Mr. Dorriforth, induced her to pay a visit of indefinite
length to her friends at Bath.

There, in the melancholy that possessed her, Miss Woodley's letters
alone gave her consolation. In a short time her health became impaired;
she was once in imminent danger, and during her delirium incessantly
repeated her guardian's name. Miss Woodley journeyed to her at once, and
so did Dorriforth, who, through the death of his cousin, Lord Elmwood,
had acquired his title and estates. On this account he had received a
dispensation from his vow of celibacy, and was enjoined to marry. His
ward felt a pleasure so exquisite on hearing this that the agitation of
mind and person brought with it the sensation of exquisite pain; but, to
her cruel grief, she found that he was, on the advice of his friends,
already paying his addresses to Miss Fenton.

As if a poniard had thrust her to the heart, she writhed under this
unexpected stroke; she felt, and she expressed anguish. Lord Elmwood was
alarmed and shocked. But later, when, in his perplexity concerning his
ward's marriage, he induced Miss Woodley to tell him on whom Miss
Milner's choice was fixed, his vehemence filled her with alarm.

"For God's sake, take care what you are doing! You are destroying my
prospects of futurity, you are making this world too dear to me! I am
transported by the tidings you have revealed--and yet, perhaps, I had
better not have heard them!" he exclaimed. And then, to prevent further
question, he hastened out of the room.

Within a few days he was her professed lover--she, the happiest of human
beings--Miss Woodley partaking in the joy. Mr. Sandford alone lamented
with the deepest concern that Miss Fenton had been supplanted--and
supplanted by Miss Milner.

Yet Miss Fenton was perhaps affected least of any by the change; she
received everything with the same insipid smile of approbation, and the
same cold indifference.


_III.--A Fatal Experiment_


Lost in the maze of happiness that surrounded her, Miss Milner
oftentimes asked her heart, "Are not my charms even more invincible than
I ever believed them to be? Dorriforth, the grave, the pious, the
anchorite Dorriforth, by their force is animated to all the ardour of
the most impassioned lover; while the proud priest, the austere guardian,
is humbled, if I but frown, into the veriest slave of love." She then
asked: "Why did I not keep him longer in suspense? He could not have
loved me more, I believe, but my power over him might have been greater
still. I am the happiest of women in the affection he has proved to me,
but I wonder if it would exist under ill-treatment? If it would not, he
still does not love me as I wish to be loved; if it would, my triumph,
my felicity, would be enhanced."

Thus the dear-bought experiment of being loved in spite of her faults--a
glory proud women ever aspire to--was, at present, the ambition of Miss
Milner. She, who, as Dorriforth's ward had ever been gentle, and always
obedient, became as a mistress, sometimes haughty, always insolent. He
was surprised, but the novelty pleased him. Miss Milner, whom he
tenderly loved, could put on no change that did not seem to become her.
But at last her attempt to rouse his jealousy by again encouraging Lord
Frederick hurt him beyond measure. In a letter releasing her from her
engagement to him, and announcing his immediate departure for a long
Continental tour, he begged her for the short time they were to remain
together not to insult him with an open preference for another. By
complying with this request she would give him to believe that she
thought he had, at least, faithfully discharged some part of his duty.

She was struck to despair. Pride alone kept her from revealing her
anguish, though her death should be the immediate consequence! But
Sandford, who had hitherto been most inimical to her, on the evening
before Lord Elmwood's departure showed at last some kindness by
entreating her to breakfast with them the following morning. There she
sat silent, unable to eat, unable to speak, unable to move, until the
moment for parting came. Then, unable to repress her tears as
heretofore, as Elmwood took her hand in his, she suffered them to fall
in torrents.

"What is all this?" cried Sandford, going up to them in anger.

They neither of them replied, or changed their situation.

"Separate this moment!" cried Sandford. "Or resolve to be separated only
by--death! Lord Elmwood, do you love this woman?"

"More than my life!" he replied, with the most heartfelt accents.

He then turned to Miss Milner.

"Can you say the same by him?"

She spread her hands over her eyes, and exclaimed, "Oh, heavens!"

"I believe you can say so," returned Sandford. "And in the name of God,
and your own happiness, since this is the state of you both, let me put
it out of your power to part?"

On which he opened his book and--married them.

Nevertheless, on that joyful day which restored her lost lover to her
hopes again, even on that very day after the ceremony was over, Miss
Milner--with all the fears, the superstition of her sex--felt an
excruciating shock when, looking on the ring Lord Elmwood had put upon
her finger in haste, she perceived it was a mourning-ring.


_IV.--Outcasts_


Alas! in seventeen years the beautiful, beloved Miss Milner was no
longer beautiful, no longer beloved, no longer virtuous.

Dorriforth, the pious, the good, the tender Dorriforth, was become a
hard-hearted tyrant.

Miss Woodley had grown old, but less with years than grief.

The boy Harry Rushbrook had become a man and the apparent heir of Lord
Elmwood's fortune, while his own daughter, his only child by his
once-adored Miss Milner, he refused ever to see again, in vengeance to
her mother's crime.

Sandford alone remained much as heretofore.

Lady Elmwood was a loved and loving bride seventeen years ago; now she
lay on her death-bed. At thirty-five "her course was run." After four
years of perfect happiness, Lord Elmwood was obliged to leave his wife
and child while he went to visit his large estates in the West Indies.
His voyage was tedious, his return delayed by serious illness, which a
too cautious fear of her uneasiness prompted him to conceal. He was away
three years.

It was no other than Lord Frederick Lawnly to whom Lady Elmwood
sacrificed her own and her husband's future peace; she did not, however,
elope with her paramour, but escaped to shelter herself in the most
dreary retreat, where she partook of no comfort but the still
unremitting friendship of Miss Woodley. Even her child she left behind,
that she might be under her father's protection. Conceive, then, how
sharp her agony was on beholding the child sent after her as the
perpetual outcast of its father. Lord Elmwood's love to his wife had
been extravagant--the effect of his hate was the same. Once more he met
Lord Frederick in a duel, the effect of which was to leave his adversary
so defaced with scars as never again to endanger the honour of a
husband. He was himself dangerously wounded, yet nothing but the
assurance that his opponent was slain could tear him from the field.

Now, after ten years of exile, the once gay, volatile Miss Milner lay
dying with but one request to make--that her daughter should not suffer
for her sin. Sandford was with her; by all the influence he ever had
over Lord Elmwood, by his prayers, by his tears, he promised to implore
him to own his child. She could only smile her thanks, but she was
sufficiently sensible of his words to make a sign as if she wished to
embrace him; but, finding life leaving her fast, with a struggle she
clung to her child, and died in her arms.


_V.--His Daughter's Happiness_


Yet all that her mother's last appeal could obtain for the hapless
Matilda, not as her child, but as the granddaughter of Mr. Milner, was
the shelter of her father's roof on condition that she avoided his
sight. When by accident or design he ever saw or heard from her, that
moment his compliance with her mother's request ceased, and he abandoned
her once more. Still, the joy of being, even in so remote a way, under
her father's care, was extreme for her, though it was tempered with
jealousy of Rushbrook--a feeling which even her noble heart could not
completely quell--jealousy which was shared on her account by both Miss
Woodley and Mr. Sandford, and frequently made them unjust to Harry, whom
they regarded as an interloper.

But his passionate gratitude to Lady Elmwood, by whose entreaties he had
been restored to his uncle's favour, had made him adore her daughter
with an equal passion. He gazed with wonder at his uncle's insensibility
to his own happiness, and would gladly have led him to the jewel he cast
away, though even his own expulsion should be the fatal consequence.

At last, by accident, Lord Elmwood returned unexpectedly home when
Matilda was descending the staircase, and, in her affright, she fell
motionless into her father's arms. He caught her, as by the same impulse
he would have caught anyone falling for want of aid. Yet, when he found
her in his arms, he still held her there--gazed on her attentively--and
pressed her to his bosom.

At length, trying to escape the snare into which he had been led, he was
going to leave her on the spot where she fell, when her eyes opened, and
she uttered, "Save me!" Her voice unmanned him. His long-restraining
tears now burst forth, and, seeing her relapsing into the swoon, he
called out eagerly to recall her. Her name did not, however, come to his
recollection--nor any name but this--"Miss Milner, dear Miss Milner."

The sound did not awaken her; and now again he wished to leave her in
this senseless state, that not remembering what had passed, she might
escape the punishment.

But at this instant his steward passed, and into his hands he delivered
his apparently dead child, his face agitated with shame, with pity, with
anger, with paternal tenderness. On her recovery she was sent to a
neighbouring farm, not more than thirty miles away, her father having
given orders that it should be so.

Then a libertine lover of Lady Matilda's, finding her no longer under
her father's protection, resolved to abduct her, and by raising an alarm
of fire, caused all the inhabitants of the farmhouse to open the doors,
when two men rushed in, and, with the plea of saving her from the
flames, carried her away. News of this being taken to her father, he at
once set out in pursuit, and reached her in her last agony of despair,
folding her in his arms with the unrestrained fondness of a parent.

It was now the middle of November; and yet, as Matilda passed along,
never to her did the sun shine so bright as upon this morning; never did
her imagination comprehend that the human heart could feel happiness
true and genuine as hers!

Rushbrook had been detained at Elmwood during all this time, more from
the persuasions, nay, prayers, of Sandford than the commands of Lord
Elmwood. His uncle's summons for him to join them in town was,
therefore, received with delight. Yet his joy was tempered by finding
that it was to propose a matrimonial alliance that his uncle had sent
for him; after a thousand fears, much confusion, and embarrassment, he
at length frankly confessed his "heart was engaged, and had been so,
long before his uncle offered to direct his choice."

On hearing on whom he had set his affections, Lord Elmwood immediately
left the room for the apartment where Sandford, Miss Woodley, and
Matilda were sitting, and cried with an angry voice, and with his
countenance disordered, "Rushbrook has offended me beyond pardon. Go,
Sandford, and tell him this instant to quit my house, and never dare to
return."

But Matilda impeded him, and throwing her arms about his neck, cried,
"Dear Mr. Sandford, do not!"

"How?" exclaimed her father.

She saw the impending frown, and knelt at his feet.

"Do you know what he has asked of me?" he asked.

"No," she replied, with the utmost innocence, "but whatever it is, my
lord, though you do not grant it, yet pardon him for asking."

"Perhaps you would grant him what he has requested?" said her father.

"Most willingly, were it in my gift."

"It is," replied he. "Go to him in the library, and hear what he has to
say; for on your will his fate shall depend."

Like lightning she flew out of the room; while even the grave Sandford
smiled at the idea of their meeting. And whether the heart of Matilda
could sentence Rushbrook to misery the reader is left to surmise; and if
he supposes that it could _not_ he has every reason to suppose that
their wedded life was--a life of happiness.

       *       *       *       *       *




G.P.R. JAMES


Henry Masterton


     The son of a physician, George Payne Rainsford James was born
     in London on August 9, 1799. He began to write early, and,
     according to his own account, the volume of short stories
     published under the title of "A String of Pearls" was written
     before he was seventeen. As a contributor to the magazines and
     newspapers, his name came under the notice of Washington
     Irving, who encouraged him to produce, in 1823, his "Life of
     Edward the Black Prince." "Richelieu," his first novel,
     brought him warm praises from Sir Walter Scott, and, thus
     fortified, James, who had had ambitions for a political life,
     determined to continue his career as a novelist. His output of
     fiction was amazing--he was the author of upwards of a hundred
     novels. Of all his works perhaps his most characteristic is
     "Henry Masterton," which appeared in 1832. More solid and less
     melodramatic than his other stories, it abounds in picturesque
     scenes, and has that pleasant spice of adventure that makes
     for good romance. He died on June 9, 1860.


_I.--When Charles the First Was King_


In the earlier years of the reign of King Charles I., when already there
were signs of those disorders which were the prelude to the Great
Rebellion, one of the most prominent gentlemen at his majesty's court
was a certain Lord Langleigh.

Bold and rash in the extreme, Lord Langleigh, though no man could doubt
his whole-hearted devotion to his majesty, fell under the suspicion of
the king's councillors. These suspicions were given a form and direction
by Lord Ashkirk, an impoverished nobleman, who secretly lodged certain
charges of treason against Lord Langleigh, and obtained, as the price of
this betrayal, the wealth and the estate of Penford-bourne, that had
belonged to his victim.

Tried by his peers, and found guilty on false evidence, Lord Langleigh
awaited his death upon the scaffold in the prison-house of the Tower.
While expecting his fate, he sent for his great friend, Lord Masterton,
of Masterton House, Devonshire, to settle with him such details as were
necessary for the future welfare of his motherless daughter. Lord
Masterton immediately hastened to London and exerted all his influence
in an endeavour to secure a pardon for his friend. But his efforts were
in vain. At a last interview, he promised to undertake the charge of
Lord Landleigh's infant daughter, Emily, and voluntarily pledged himself
to see her married to his eldest son.

Then, on the morning of the execution, Langleigh contrived to escape
from the Tower.

In the company of the captain of the Tower guard he reached a ship bound
for the continent. The vessel was beset by a storm, and the only one of
its occupants that was able to tell the tale of the terrible disaster
was the captain of the guard, who, after exonerating everyone from a
share in his prisoner's escape, died from exhaustion.

Meanwhile, Lord Ashkirk had secured the price of his treason, and was in
the full enjoyment of the estates of Penford-bourne. Not even certain
domestic troubles that occurred regarding the marriage of his daughter,
Lady Eleanor, disturbed the serenity of his content. Before his
accession to the property of Lord Langleigh, Lord Ashkirk had betrothed
his daughter to his nephew, Walter Dixon, the son of a wealthy attorney,
who had married the peer's sister. The arrival of two Popish gentlemen,
Sir Andrew Fleming and M. du Tillet, caused him to alter his decision.
Sir Andrew fell in love with the wonderful beauty of Lady Eleanor and
easily persuaded Lord Ashkirk, himself a Cavalier and a papist, to
cancel the marriage with Walter Dixon, who had joined the Parliamentary
party. Lady Eleanor was duly united to Sir Andrew, and Walter Dixon,
deprived of his bride and the succession to the Penford-bourne estate,
determined to be revenged.

He found a means ready to his hand. Lady Eleanor pretended no affection
for her husband, and took a special delight in exciting his angry
jealousy. She accepted Du Tillet as a lover, and when Dixon, wounded in
a duel with her husband, was carried into the house, she nursed him with
so much apparent affection and attention that her husband's wrath passed
all bounds. A separation became necessary, and Sir Andrew Fleming
consented to leave the woman whose love he could not win.

Walter Dixon, so far satisfied, was yet determined to exact his full
tale of vengeance, and secure the rich lands and estates of
Penford-bourne. The death of Lord Ashkirk and the successful growth of
the Parliamentary party appeared to give him the opportunity he so
eagerly desired.


_II.--A Web of Intrigue_


At Masterton House, in Devonshire, Lord Masterton remained in
retirement, though the Parliamentary party carried all before them. He
would doubtless have continued to refrain from drawing his sword on
behalf of his king, who had wronged and insulted him, had not
circumstances forced his hand.

His tenantry were secretly armed and drilled, and, under the command of
Frank, were marched eastwards to Kent, to join Lord Norwich and Hales,
who were preparing a rising to rescue the king.

Frank, before leaving Masterton House, bade farewell to Lady Emily with
that cold reserve and studied formality which was part of his character.
The fact that she was betrothed to him by the commands of his father had
failed to arose any passion in his breast. He was prepared, however, to
fulfil the commands of Lord Masterton, though his heart was untouched.
But the parting between his brother and Lady Emily was of a different
character. Though out of loyalty to his brother no word of love had ever
passed his lips, Henry was passionately devoted to the beautiful girl
who had grown up with him under his father's roof. And there was no
doubt as to which of the brothers it was to whom Lady Emily had given
her affections.

The arrival of the little force in Kent brought the two brothers into
the web of intrigue which was being spun by Walter Dixon. It was Dixon's
object to prevent the union of Frank's forces with Lord Norwich. He had
been promised the estates of Penford-bourne, should he succeed in his
object and prove Lady Eleanor a malignant. In pursuance of this plan, he
allowed himself to be taken prisoner by Henry Masterton, to whom he
declared that he was really a Royalist in disguise.

His next step was to obtain for the brothers an invitation from Lady
Eleanor to quarter themselves at Penford-bourne. Once he had settled
them there, he obtained, through Frank Masterton's valet, a puritanical
knave called Gabriel Jones, complete information as to their plans,
which he was thus able to thwart.

At Penford-bourne Frank came under the spell of Lady Eleanor's beauty;
all his duties were forgotten, and he lingered on by the side of the
woman he loved. In vain Henry protested against his dereliction of duty.
Frank refused to move, and it was not until his brother came in touch
with Lord Norwich that circumstances compelled him to act. Lord Norwich
was furious at Frank's conduct.

"I will give your brother one chance," he said to Henry. "If he refuses
that chance, I shall supersede him, and name you to the command. Here is
the commission. If you succeed in persuading him to join me at once, you
may burn it; if not, you must take the command, and march immediately."

Sadly, Henry returned to Penford-bourne. On the way, he overheard a
conversation between Walter Dixon and Gabriel Jones, which made it clear
that they were privy to a plot having for its object the ruin of Frank
Masterton. He at once placed them both under arrest, and hastened to his
brother's side. Frank obstinately determined not to move. Only the
intervention of Lady Eleanor induced him to promise to set out the next
day.

But on the morrow Frank had an affair of honour with a mysterious man in
black, with whom he had quarrelled the night before.

Henry found him bleeding from two severe wounds, and then having issued
instructions for him to be removed to the house, rejoined his regiment,
and at once gave the order to march.

He reached Lord Norwich to find all his trouble in vain. Disaster had
dissolved the forces of the Cavaliers, and Lord Norwich had reluctantly
decided to abandon the attempt, and, disbanding his men, made the best
of his way into Essex. In the excitement of these events Walter Dixon
effected his escape.

On his way back to Penford-bourne, Henry learned that Lady Eleanor's
husband was still alive. He at once used this information to induce
Frank to leave the side of Lady Eleanor, and, in spite of his wounds, to
accompany him back to Devonshire. As the lovers parted, Henry overheard
their last words.

"Then I rely on you," said Frank, in a hasty voice. "You will not,
surely you will not fail me?"

"By all I hold dear on earth and beyond the earth," she replied, in low,
thrilling tones.


_III.--Days of Gloom_


To Lord Masterton Frank related the story of how he had been wounded in
the early part of the campaign and had been compelled to hand over the
command of his regiment to his brother. This piece of fiction set all
awkward questions at rest, and the old lord, satisfied that his son and
heir had covered himself with honour, hastened to arrange for his
nuptials with Lady Emily.

Both to Henry and to the girl these were days of gloom, but Frank, on
the other hand, was strangely happy and content. His passion for Lady
Eleanor was still unabated, and though, to gratify his father, he had
consented to marry Lady Emily, he had already taken such steps to
prevent their union as would leave his share in the matter undiscovered.

Dixon, though he had carried out his part of the bargain, had been
disgusted to discover that the Council of State, on some specious
excuse, refused to grant him the estates of Penford-bourne.

The day of the wedding arrived. By some secret arrangement with the
officiating clergyman, the service was unduly protracted. But at last
those words were reached which, if uttered, would make Frank and Lady
Emily one. Then, suddenly, armed men burst into the chapel and, reading
their warrant, demanded the arrest of Frank Masterton, as a malignant
lately in arms in Kent. The bridegroom offered no resistance. But it was
different with Lord Masterton. He boldly called upon the guests present
to draw their swords. A scuffle took place. Suddenly, from the gallery
above, the voice of Gabriel Jones gave the order to fire. A volley rang
out, and Lord Masterton fell dead at the feet of his son.

In the confusion, Henry seized Lady Emily, and shooting down Gabriel
Jones, escaped through a secret passage into the grounds. There he lay
hidden for some days, and then, when the coast was clear, secured a
passage in a smuggling ship for himself and Lady Emily, and her aunt,
Lady Margaret. Arrived in France, he placed the ladies in a convent at
Dinan, and made his way to England again, under an assumed name as a
commercial traveller for a French house, to learn the fate of his
brother.

Arrived in London, he obtained some news of his brother from a goldsmith
who had acted as the family banker for years past. Through the
assistance of Lady Eleanor, Frank Masterton had been set at liberty and
had taken his departure in the company of that lady to Paris. Thither,
Henry determined to follow them.

Before setting out, he paid a business call at a merchant's house, where
he found a man of distinguished appearance, whom he discovered to be
General Ireton. Hearing that Henry was bound for France, Ireton asked
him whether he would deliver a letter for him to General St. Maur. It
was a most important communication, he declared, insomuch as it was the
payment of a debt to a man to whom he owed much.

Warned by a footstep on the stairs, Ireton requested Henry to retire
into the adjoining room, as he had some business to transact. Through
the door, Henry heard the well-known voice of General Dixon. He was
complaining bitterly that Ireton had not carried out his promise, and
handed him over the estates of Penford-bourne.

"We have no excuse for sequestrating the estates," replied Ireton.

Walter Dixon was furious, declared that he had been made a tool of, and,
threatening Ireton, announced his intention of going to France. As soon
as he had taken his departure, Henry was summoned from the other room,
and being bidden to hold his tongue if he had heard anything, was
informed by Ireton that he would visit him that night with the package
he had requested him to deliver to General St. Maur.

Some hours later, when it was dark, Henry received his visitor; but the
unexpected arrival of the goldsmith, who addressed Henry by his real
name, disclosed his identity. Finding, however, that he intended him no
ill, Ireton questioned him closely as to what had brought him to London.

"To see whether I might not render some aid to my brother," Henry
replied, "after having placed the Lady Emily in safety."

"She was never in danger," replied Ireton quietly. "I would take good
care of that. I will still trust you with my commission. The time may
come when you will thank me for so doing."

With that he turned and left the room.


_IV.--The Mysterious Monk_


Chance ordained it that Henry Masterton should cross the Channel on the
same boat which was carrying General Dixon to France. The latter, with
what General Ireton had called "his blunt hypocrisy," frankly related to
Henry the motives that had influenced him in the part that he had
played.

Arrived at Calais, the two men journeyed some part of the way together,
and before they separated Henry discovered something of the real
character of his companion by his familiarity with certain broken-down
Cavaliers, who, having lost all right to the title of gentlemen in their
own country, eked out a living by brigandage in France. After they had
separated, Henry lost his way, and arriving at night, drenched through
with the rain, at a certain chateau, begged its hospitality for a night.

He was led into the dining-room, and introduced to another guest who was
there--a Benedictine monk.

That night, while Henry lay in bed, he was startled to see the monk
standing by his side. He had come, he said, to ask him several
questions. In particular he wished to know whether his brother Frank had
married Lady Emily Langleigh. When Henry related how the marriage had
been prevented, the Benedictine suddenly sprang to his feet in a fury of
rage. When calmer, he asked Henry whether Frank had come to France
alone; but on this subject the young man preserved a discreet silence,
and after a few more questions, which proved the monk's extraordinary
familiarity with all Walter Dixon's intrigues at Penford-bourne, he left
the room.

The following day, Henry bade farewell to his courteous host, and made
his way to Dinan. There he found that the convent in which he had left
the two ladies had been burnt down; and he learnt that a strange
gentleman had called before this disaster, and had taken Lady Emily and
Lady Margaret away.

Bitterly disappointed, Henry made his way to Paris, where he found the
city in the throes of a civil war. Becoming unintentionally mixed up in
a petty skirmish between the court party and the Frondes, he was badly
wounded, and narrowly escaped hanging as an enemy of the Frondeurs.

Meanwhile, Frank Masterton, or Lord Masterton as he now was, was living
what he had fondly imagined would be the ideal life with the girl he
loved; but already he found it an illusion. His loss of honour, his
consciousness that his conduct was discreditable, plunged him into
bitter fits of remorse, from which he vainly sought relief by a round of
gaiety. Lady Eleanor saw these signs with terror and despair. Though she
had accomplished her desire, her life was unbearable; daily she grew
more miserable. At last she determined to end her earthly sufferings. In
her chamber she swallowed the fatal dose of poison with which, against
such a day, she had provided herself.

As she lay in the throes of death it chanced that Henry Masterton
arrived, having at length found his brother's place of residence. Henry
at once did everything possible to save Lady Eleanor's life, but, seeing
that the dark shadow deepened every moment, he hastened to fetch a
priest.

In the street he came upon the Benedictine, talking to Walter Dixon, and
bidding him follow, led him to the bedside of Lady Eleanor, and left him
alone with the dying woman.

Bending over her, the monk solemnly asked her if she had anything on her
mind which she wished to confess.

He pressed a cup to her lips; and in a slow, gasping voice she laid bare
the story of her life, and then went on to relate her feelings at her
first meeting with Frank Masterton.

"When we parted, and I thought of the man to whom I was bound for life,
what fearful feelings came across my bosom! Sir Andrew Fleming my
husband! Was it possible? I called to remembrance his look, his
harshness, his jealousy, and, oh, God! oh, God! how I did hate that
man!"

"Woman, woman!" exclaimed the monk, rising up from his seat, and casting
back the cowl from his head, "Oh, God! oh, God! how I did love you!"

Lady Eleanor's eyes fixed full upon his face. Before her stood, in the
garb of a Benedictine monk, Sir Andrew Fleming, her husband. For a
second she looked at him imploringly; then, with fearful strength, she
rose from her recumbent position, and clasping her hands as if in the
act of prayer, sank down upon her knees at his feet. A low moan escaped
from her lips. She fell forward on the ground, and the spirit departed
for ever from its clay.

The monk grasped his forehead with his hand, gazing at her with mingled
feelings of love, anger, sorrow, and despair; then, raising the body in
his arms, he placed it on the couch, and bending over it, three times
printed a long kiss upon the pale lips. Then, with his right hand thrust
into his robe, he rushed out of the room.

Outside in the hall there came towards him Lord Masterton, General
Dixon, and Henry. A look of deadly, concentrated hate came into Sir
Andrew Fleming's eyes. For a moment he paused; then, drawing a dagger
from his bosom, he flung himself on Lord Masterton, and, with one blow,
stretched him dead at his feet.

"Villain!" cried Walter Dixon. "Atrocious villain!"

With the rapidity of lightning he drew his sword, and at once passed it
through the body of the assassin.

To Walter Dixon, this scene of carnage, which he had planned with
elaborate care, seemed to ensure his long delayed possession of the
Penford-bourne estates. Lady Eleanor was dead; her husband, Sir Andrew
had fallen by his hand, and there were no lives now between him and his
rightful possession of the property. But once more he was doomed to
disappointment.

As soon as he had an opportunity Henry sought out General St. Maur, and
handed him the package he had received from Ireton. The general pressed
him to stay to dinner, and while the meal progressed, extracted from him
something of his story. When the meal was nearly over, the door suddenly
opened, and a dog rushed to him, barking joyously. It was his own
dog--the dog he had brought with him from Masterton House, and left with
Lady Emily! How had it come there? Amazed, he was about to ask for an
explanation, when Lady Emily herself stood before him. In another moment
the lovers were in one another's arms.

Henry, astonished as he was at these events, was still more surprised
when he learnt that General St. Maur was really Lord Langleigh, the
father of Emily. He had not, as all the world had thought, been drowned
in his escape from the Tower. In the wreck, he had succeeded in saving
not only his own life, but the life of a young man named Ireton. Ireton
had never forgotten the debt, and now, in the package which Henry had
brought over from England, had endeavoured to repay it. He had persuaded
the Council that the estates of Penford-bourne had been improperly
sequestrated by King Charles, and should be returned to their lawful
owner, Lord Langleigh; and the letter contained a decree of the Council
once more granting him his lands and title.

When Walter Dixon heard of these events, which again snatched the prize
for which he had attempted so much from his lips, he determined on yet
another effort to achieve his object. Bribing two men to assist him in
the deed, he lured Lord Langleigh into an ambush. Only the prompt
arrival of Henry Masterton prevented the success of this foul deed; and
it was Dixon himself who fell a victim.

Lord Langleigh, too good a Cavalier, courteously refused the offers of
the Council of State, and remained in France until the Restoration,
when, with Henry, now Lord Masterton, and his wife, Lady Emily, he
returned to Penford-bourne to spend the remainder of his days in his
native land.

       *       *       *       *       *




SAMUEL JOHNSON


Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia


     Samuel Johnson was born at Lichfield in Staffordshire, on
     September 18, 1709, and died in London, December 13, 1784. In
     Volume IX of THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS appears an epitome of
     Boswell's famous "Life of Johnson." "The History of Rasselas,
     Prince of Abyssinia," was written by Dr. Johnson in order to
     meet the expenses incurred by his mother's illness and death.
     According to Boswell, the work was composed in the evenings of
     one week, and the sheets sent to the printers exactly as they
     left his hands, without even being read over by the author
     himself. It was published during the early part of 1759,
     Johnson receiving for it the sum of L100, and a further amount
     of L25 when it came to a second edition. Of all Johnson's
     works, "Rasselas" was apparently the most popular. By 1775 it
     reached its fifth edition, and has since been translated into
     many languages. The work is more of a satire on optimism and
     on human life in general than a novel, and perhaps is little
     more than a ponderous dissertation on Johnson's favourite
     theme, the "vanity of human wishes." As to its actual merits,
     Johnson's contemporaries differed widely, some proclaiming him
     a pompous pedant with a passion for words of six syllables and
     more, others delighting in those passages in which weighty
     meaning was illustrated with splendour and vigour.


_I.--Life in the Happy Valley_


Rasselas was the fourth son of the mighty emperor in whose dominions the
father of waters begins his course, whose bounty pours down the streams
of plenty, and scatters over the world the harvests of Egypt.

According to the custom which has descended from age to age among the
monarchs of the torrid zone, the prince was confined in a private
palace, with the other sons and daughters of Abyssinian royalty, till
the order of succession should call him to the throne.

The place which the wisdom, or policy, of antiquity had designed for the
residence of the princes was a spacious valley in the kingdom of Amhara,
surrounded on every side by mountains of which the summits overhang the
middle part. The only passage by which it could be entered was a cavern
that passed under a rock, of which it had long been disputed whether it
was the work of nature or of human industry. The outlet of the cavern
was concealed by a thick wood, and the mouth, which opened into the
valley, was closed with gates of iron, forged by the artificers of
ancient days, so massive that no man, without the help of engines, could
open or shut them.

From the mountains on every side rivulets descended that filled all the
valley with verdure and fertility, and formed a lake in the middle,
inhabited by fish of every species, and frequented by every fowl whom
nature has taught to dip the wing in water.

The valley, wide and fruitful, supplied its inhabitants with all the
necessaries of life, and all delights and superfluities were added at
the annual visit which the emperor paid his children, when the iron gate
was opened to the sound of music; and during eight days every one that
resided in the valley was required to propose whatever might contribute
to make seclusion pleasant, to fill up the vacancies of attention, and
to lessen the tediousness of time. Every desire was immediately
gratified. Such was the appearance of security and delight which this
retirement afforded that they to whom it was new always desired that it
might be perpetual; and as those on whom the iron gate had once closed
were never suffered to return, the effect of longer experience could not
be known.

Here the sons and daughters of Abyssinia lived only to know the soft
vicissitudes of pleasure and repose. The sages who instructed them told
them of nothing but the miseries of public life, and described all
beyond the mountains as regions of calamity where discord was always
raging, and where man preyed upon man. These methods were generally
successful. Few of the princes had ever wished to enlarge their bounds;
they rose in the morning and lay down at night, pleased with each other
and with themselves. All but Rasselas, who, in the twenty-sixth year of
his age, began to withdraw himself from the pastimes and assemblies, and
to delight in solitary walks and silent meditation. His attendants
observed the change, and endeavoured to renew his love of pleasure; but
he neglected their officiousness and repulsed their invitations.

One day his old instructor began to lament the change which had been
lately observed in him, and to inquire why he so often retired from the
pleasures of the palace to loneliness and silence.

"I fly from pleasure," said the prince, "because pleasure has ceased to
please. I am lonely because I am miserable, and am unwilling to cloud
with my presence the happiness of others."

"You, sir," said the sage, "are the first who has complained of misery
in the Happy Valley. I hope to convince you that your complaints have no
real cause. Look round and tell me which of your wants is without
supply. If you want nothing, how are you unhappy?"

"That I want nothing," said the prince, "or that I know not what I want,
is the cause of my complaint. If I had only known a want, I should have
a certain wish, and that wish would excite endeavour for its
satisfaction. I have already enjoyed too much. Give me something to
desire."

"Sir," said the old man, "if you had seen the miseries of the world, you
would know how to value your present state."

"Now," said the prince, "you have given me something to desire. I shall
long to see the miseries of the world, since the sight of them is
necessary to happiness."


_II.--The Escape Into the Outer World_


The stimulus of this new desire--the desire of seeing the world--soon
had its effect in making Rasselas no longer gloomy and unsociable.
Considering himself as master of a secret stock of happiness, he
affected to be busy in all the assemblies and schemes of diversion,
because he supposed the frequency of his presence necessary to the
success of his purposes. He retired gladly to privacy, because in
picturing to himself that world which he had never seen he had now a
subject of thought.

Thus passed twenty months of his life; he busied himself so intensely in
visionary bustle that he forgot his real solitude. But one day the
consciousness of his own folly and inaction pierced him deeply. He
compared twenty months with the life of man. "The period of human
existence," said he, "may be reasonably estimated at forty years, of
which I have mused away the four-and-twentieth part."

These sorrowful meditations fastened upon his mind; he passed four
months in resolving to lose no more time in idle resolves. Then,
awakening to more vigorous exertion, he for a few hours regretted his
regret, and from that time bent his whole mind upon the means of
escaping from the Valley of Happiness.

He now found that it would be very difficult to effect that which it was
very easy to suppose effected. He passed week after week in clambering
the mountains, but found all the summits inaccessible by their
prominence. The iron gate was not only secured with all the power of
art, but was always watched by successive sentinels. In these fruitless
researches he spent ten months. The time, however, passed cheerfully
away, for he met a thousand amusements which beguiled his labour and
diversified his thought.

A little while afterwards he began to cherish hopes of escaping from the
valley by quite a different way. Among the artists allowed there, to
labour for the accommodation and pleasure of its inhabitants, was a man
eminent for his knowledge of the mechanic powers, who had contrived many
engines both of use and recreation. He interested the prince in a
project of flying, and undertook to construct a pair of wings, in which
he would himself attempt an aerial flight. But, alas! when in a year's
time the wings were ready, and their contriver waved them and leaped
from the little promontory on which he had taken his stand, he merely
dropped into the lake, his wings only serving to sustain him in the
water.

The prince was not much afflicted by this disaster, and he soon forgot
any disappointment he had felt in the society and conversation of a new
artist--a poet called Imlac--who delighted him by the narrative of his
travels and dealings with men in various parts of Africa and Asia.

"Hast thou here found happiness at last?" asked Rasselas. "Tell me,
without reserve, art thou content with thy condition, or dost thou wish
to be again wandering and inquiring? All the inhabitants of this valley
celebrate their lot, and at the annual visit of the emperor invite
others to partake of their felicity. Is this felicity genuine or
feigned?"

"Great prince," said Imlac, "I shall speak the truth. I know not one of
all your attendants who does not lament the hour when he entered this
retreat. I am less unhappy than the rest, because I have a mind replete
with images, which I can vary and combine at pleasure. The rest, whose
minds have no impression but the present moment, are either corroded by
malignant passions, or sit steeped in the gloom of perpetual vacancy."

"What passions can infect those," said the prince, "who have no rivals?
We are in a place where impotence precludes malice, and where all envy
is repressed by community of enjoyments."

"There may be community of material possessions," said Imlac, "but there
can never be community of love or of esteem. It must happen that one
will please more than another. He that knows himself despised will
always be envious, and still more envious and malevolent if he is
condemned to live in the presence of those who despise him. The
invitations by which the inhabitants of the valley allure others to a
state which they feel to be wretched proceed from the natural malignity
of hopeless misery. I look with pity on the crowds who are annually
soliciting admission to captivity, and wish that it were lawful for me
to warn them of their danger."

Upon this hint, Rasselas opened his whole heart to Imlac, who, promising
to assist him to escape, proposed the plan of piercing the mountain. A
suitable cavern having been found, the two men worked arduously at their
task, and within a few days had accomplished it. A few more days passed,
and Rasselas and Imlac, with the prince's sister, Nekayah, had gone by
ship to Suez, and thence to Cairo.


_III.--The Search for Happiness_


The prince and princess, who carried with them jewels sufficient to make
them rich in any place of commerce, gradually succeeded in mixing in the
society of the city; and for some time the former, who had been wont to
ponder over what _choice of life_ he should make, thought choice
needless because all appeared to him really happy.

Imlac was unwilling to crush the hope of inexperience. Till one day,
having sat awhile silent, "I know not," said Rasselas, "what can be the
reason that I am more unhappy than any of my friends. I see them
perpetually and unalterably cheerful, but feel my own mind restless and
uneasy. I am unsatisfied with those pleasures which I seem most to
court. I live in the crowds of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as
to shun myself, and am only loud and merry to conceal my sadness."

"Every man," said Imlac, "may, by examining his own mind, guess what
passes in the minds of others. When you feel that your own gaiety is
counterfeit, it may justly lead you to suspect that of your companions
not to be sincere. Envy is commonly reciprocal. We are long before we
are convinced that happiness is never to be found, and each believes it
to be possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for
himself."

"This," said the prince, "may be true of others, since it is true of me;
yet whatever be the general infelicity of man, one condition is more
happy than another, and wisdom surely directs us to take the least evil
in the _choice of life_."

"Very few," said the poet, "live by choice. Every man is placed in the
present condition by causes which acted without his foresight, and with
which he did not always willingly co-operate; and, therefore, you will
rarely meet one who does not think the lot of his neighbour better than
his own."

Rasselas resolved, however, to continue his experiments on life. As he
was one day walking in the street, he saw a spacious building, which all
were, by the open doors, invited to enter. He found it a hall of
declamation, and listened to a sage who discoursed with great energy on
the conquest of the passions, and displayed the happiness of those who
had obtained this important victory, after which man is no longer the
slave of fear, nor the fool of hope; is no more emaciated by envy,
inflamed by anger, emasculated by tenderness, or depressed by grief.
Receiving permission to visit this philosopher--having, indeed,
purchased it by presenting him with a purse of gold--Rasselas returned
home with joy to Imlac.

"I have found," said he, "a man who, from the unshaken throne of
rational fortitude, looks down on the scenes of life changing beneath
him. I will learn his doctrines and imitate his life."

"Be not too hasty," said Imlac, "to trust or to admire the teachers of
morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men."

Imlac's caution turned out to be wise, for when the prince paid his
visit a few days afterwards, he found the philosopher weeping over the
death of his only daughter, and refusing to be comforted by any of the
consolations that truth and reason could afford.

Still eager upon the same inquiry, and resolving to discover whether
that felicity which public life could not afford was to be found in
solitude, Rasselas determined to visit a hermit who lived near the
lowest cataract of the Nile and filled the whole country with the fame
of his sanctity, Imlac and the princess agreeing to accompany him. On
the third day they reached the cell of the holy man, who was desired to
give his direction as to a choice of life.

"He will most certainly remove from evil," said the prince, "who shall
devote himself to that solitude which you have recommended by your
example."

"I have no desire that my example should gain any imitators," replied
the hermit. "In my youth I professed arms, and was raised by degrees to
the highest military rank. At last, being disgusted by the preferments
of a younger officer, I resolved to close my life in peace, having found
the world full of snares, discord, and misery. For some time after my
retreat I rejoiced like a tempest-beaten sailor at his entrance into the
harbour. When the pleasure of novelty went away, I employed my hours in
examining the plants and minerals of the place. But that inquiry is now
grown tasteless and irksome, and I have been for some time unsettled and
distracted. I am sometimes ashamed to think that I could not secure
myself from vice but by retiring from the exercise of virtue, and begin
to suspect that I was rather impelled by resentment than led by devotion
into solitude. I have been long comparing the evils with the advantages
of society, and resolve to return into the world to-morrow."

They accompanied him back to the city, on which, as he approached it, he
gazed with rapture.

A day or two later Rasselas was relating his interview with the hermit
at an assembly of learned men, who met at stated intervals to compare
their opinions.

"The way to be happy," said one of them, "is to live according to
nature, in obedience to that universal and unalterable law with which
every heart is originally impressed; which is not written on it by
precept, but engraven by design, not instilled by education, but infused
at our nativity."

When he had spoken, he looked round him with a placid air, and enjoyed
the consciousness of his own beneficence.

"Sir," said the prince, with great modesty, "as I, like all the rest of
mankind, am desirous of felicity, my closest attention has been fixed
upon your discourse. I doubt not the truth of a position which so
learned a man has so confidently advanced. Let me only know what it is
to live according to nature."

"When I find young men so humble and so docile," said the philosopher,
"I can deny them no information which my studies have enabled me to
afford. To live according to nature is to act always with due regard to
the fitness arising from the relations and qualities of causes and
effects; to concur with the great and unchangeable scheme of universal
felicity; to co-operate with the general disposition and tendency of the
present system of things."

The prince soon found that this was a sage whom he should understand
less as he heard him longer. He therefore bowed, and was silent; and the
philosopher, supposing him satisfied, departed with the air of a man who
had co-operated with the present system.


_IV.--Happiness They Find Not_


Rasselas returned home full of reflections, and finding that Imlac
seemed to discourage a continuance of the search, began _to_ discourse
more freely with his sister, who had yet the same hope with himself.

"We will divide the task between us," said she. "You shall try what is
to be found in the splendour of courts, and I will range the shades of
humbler life."

Accordingly, the prince appeared next day, with a splendid retinue, at
the court of the bassa. But he soon found that the lives of courtiers
are a continual succession of plots and detections, stratagems and
escapes, faction and treachery. Many of those who surrounded the bassa
were sent only to watch him, and to report his conduct to the sultan. At
last the letters of revocation arrived, the bassa was carried in chains
to Constantinople, and in a short time the sultan that had deposed him
was murdered by the Janissaries.

The princess, who, in the meantime, had insinuated herself into many
private families, proved equally unsuccessful in her inquiries. She
found not one house that was not haunted by some fury that destroyed its
quiet.

"In families where there is or is not poverty," said she, "there is
commonly discord. The love of parents and children seldom continues
beyond the years of infancy; in a short time the children become rivals
to their parents. Each child endeavours to appropriate the esteem or
fondness of the parents, and the parents betray each other to their
children. The opinions of children and parents, of the young and the
old, are naturally opposite, by the contrary effects of hope and
despondence, of expectation and experience. Age looks with anger on the
temerity of youth; and youth with contempt on the scrupulosity of age."

"Surely," said the prince, "you must have been unfortunate in your
choice of acquaintance. I am unwilling to believe that the most tender
of all relations is thus impeded in its effects by natural necessity."

"Domestic discord," answered she, "is not inevitably necessary; but it
is not easily avoided. We seldom see that a whole family is virtuous.
The good and the evil cannot well agree; the evil can yet less agree
with one another, and even the virtuous fall sometimes to variance when
their virtues are of different kinds. As for those who live single, I
never found that their prudence ought to raise envy. They dream away
their time without friendship and without fondness, and are driven to
rid themselves of the day, for which they have no use, by childish
amusements and vicious delights. They act as beings under the constant
sense of some known inferiority, that fills their minds with rancour,
and their tongues with censure."

"I cannot forbear to flatter myself," said Rasselas, "that prudence and
benevolence will make marriage happy. What can be expected but
disappointment and repentance from a choice made in the immaturity of
youth, in the ardour of desire, without judgment, without foresight,
without inquiry after conformity of opinions, similarity of manners,
rectitude of judgment, or purity of sentiment. From these early
marriages proceed the rivalry of parents and children.

"The son is eager to enjoy the world before the father is willing to
forsake it, and there is hardly room at once for two generations. The
daughter begins to bloom before the mother can be content to fade, and
neither can forbear to wish for the absence of the other. Surely all
these evils may be avoided by that deliberation and delay which prudence
prescribes to irrevocable choice."

"And yet," said Nekayah, "I have been told that late marriages are not
eminently happy. It has generally been determined that it is dangerous
for a man and woman to suspend their fate upon each other at a time when
opinions are fixed and habits are established, when friendships have
been contracted on both sides, and when life has been planned into
method."

At this point Imlac entered, and having refused to talk upon the subject
of their discourse, persuaded them to visit the great pyramid.

"I consider this mighty structure," said he, as they reposed in one of
its chambers, "as a monument of the insufficiency of human enjoyments. A
king, whose power is unlimited, and whose treasures surmount all real
and imaginary wants, is compelled to solace, by the erection of a
pyramid, the satiety of dominion and tastelessness of pleasures, and to
amuse the tediousness of declining life by seeing thousands labouring
without end, and one stone, for no purpose, laid upon another."

Soon afterwards the prince told Imlac that he intended to devote himself
to science, and to pass the rest of his days in retirement.

"Before you make your final choice," answered Imlac, "you ought to
examine its hazards, and to converse with some of those who are grown
old in the company of themselves."

He then introduced him to a learned astronomer, who had meditated over
his science and over visionary schemes for so long that he believed that
he possessed the regulation of the weather, and the distribution of the
seasons.

A visit made subsequently to the catacombs tended still further to give
a grave and sombre direction to the thoughts of the party.

"How gloomy," said Rasselas, "would be these mansions of the dead to him
who did not know that he should never die; that what now acts shall
continue its agency, and what now thinks shall think on forever. Those
that lie here stretched before us, the wise and the powerful of ancient
times, warn us to remember the shortness of our present state; they
were, perhaps, snatched away while they were busy, like us, in the
choice of life."

"To me," said the princess, "the choice of life is become less
important; I hope, hereafter, to think only on the choice of eternity."

It was now the time of the inundations of the Nile, and the searchers
for happiness were, of necessity, confined to their house. Being,
however, well supplied with materials for talk, they diverted themselves
with comparisons of the different forms of life which they had observed,
and with various schemes of happiness which each of them had formed--
schemes which now they well knew would never be carried out.

They deliberated with Imlac what was to be done, and finally resolved,
when the inundation should cease, to return to Abyssinia.

       *       *       *       *       *




MAURUS JOKAI


Timar's Two Worlds


     Maurus Jokai, by common consent the greatest Hungarian
     novelist of the nineteenth century, was born at Komarom on
     February 19, 1825. Trained for the law, as an advocate he
     achieved the distinction of winning his first case. The
     drudgery of a lawyer's office, however, proved uncongenial to
     him, and fired by the success of his first play, "The Jew Boy"
     ("Zsido fiu"), he went to Pest, where he devoted himself to
     journalism, in due course becoming editor of "Eletkepek," a
     leading Hungarian literary periodical. At the outbreak of the
     Revolution of 1848, he threw himself in with the supporters of
     the national cause. From that time until his death--which
     occurred on May 4, 1904--Jokai identified himself considerably
     with politics. Of all his novels perhaps, "Az arany ember" ("A
     Man of Gold"), translated into English under the title of
     "Timar's Two Worlds," takes the highest place. Its reputation
     has long since spread outside the boundaries of Hungary, and
     the story itself--a rare combination of descriptive power,
     humour, and pathos--has exercised no small influence upon
     European fiction of the romantic order.


_I.--How Ali Saved his Daughter_


A mountain-chain, pierced through from base to summit--a gorge four
miles in length walled in by lofty precipices; and between these walls
flows the Danube in its rocky bed.

At this time there were no steamers on the Danube, but a vessel, called
the St. Barbara, approaches, drawn against the stream by thirty-two
horses. The fate of the vessel lies in the hands of two men--the pilot
and the captain.

The name of the captain is Michael Timar. He is a man of about thirty,
with fair hair and dreary blue eyes.

At the door of the ship's cabin sits a man of fifty, smoking a Turkish
chibouque. Euthemio Trikaliss is the name under which he is registered
in the way-book, and he is the owner of the cargo. The ship itself
belongs to a merchant of Komorn called Athanas Brazovics.

Out of one of the cabin windows looks the face of a young girl, Timea,
the daughter of Euthemio, and the face is as white as marble. Timea and
her father are the only passengers of the St. Barbara.

When the captain lays aside his speaking-trumpet he has time to chat
with Timea, who understands only modern Greek, which the captain speaks
fluently.

It is always a dangerous voyage, for the current is fierce and the rocks
are death-traps. To-day, too, the St. Barbara was pursued by a Turkish
gunboat. But the vessel makes its way safely, in spite of current and
rocks, and the Turkish gunboat gives up the chase.

Three days later the St. Barbara has reached the island of Orsova; the
plains of Hungary are to the north of the river, Servia to the south.

Provisions had run short, and Timar decided to go on shore. There were
no signs of human habitation at first, but Timar's sharp eyes had
discovered a faint smoke rising above the tops of the poplars. He worked
his way in a small skiff through the reeds, reached dry land, pushed
through hedges and bushes, and then stood transfixed with admiration.

A cultivated orchard of some five or six acres was before him, and
beyond that a flower-garden, full of summer bloom.

Timar went up through the orchard and flower garden to a cottage, built
partly in the rock, and covered with creepers. A huge, black
Newfoundland dog was lying before the door.

A woman's voice answered Timar's "good-morning," and the dog raised no
objection to the captain going indoors.

"It never hurts good people," said the woman.

Timar explained his mission. The wind had brought his vessel to a
standstill; he was short of provisions, and he had two passengers who
would be grateful for shelter on land for the night.

The woman promised him food and a room for his passengers in exchange
for grain, and at her word the dog brought him by a better path to the
river.

Presently Timar was back again with Euthemio and Timea, and now a young
girl appeared, whom the housewife called Noemi.

Before supper was over, the growling of the dog announced a new arrival,
and a man of youthful appearance, who introduced himself as Theodor
Krisstyan, an old friend of the lady of the house, whom he called Madame
Therese, entered and made himself quickly at home. It was plain that his
hostess both feared and disliked Theodor, while Timar, who had met him
before, regarded him as a spy in the pay of the Turkish government.

In the morning the wind had gone down, Theodor had vanished, and Timar
and his passengers prepared to renew their journey.

Therese told Timar her story before he left; how she and her daughter
Noemi had lived there for twelve years, and who the objectionable
Theodor was. Then she added, in a whisper, "I fancy this man Krisstyan's
visit was either on your account, or that of the other gentleman. Be on
your guard if either of you dread the discovery of a secret."

Trikaliss looked very gloomy when he heard the stranger had left before
sunrise, and the following night he called Timar to his cabin.

"I am dying," he said. "I want to die--I have taken poison. Timea will
not wake till all is over. My true name is not Euthemio Trikaliss, but
Ali Tschorbadschi. I was once governor of Candia, and then treasurer in
Stamboul. You know there is a revolution proceeding in Turkey; my turn
was coming. Not that I was a conspirator, but the treasury wanted my
money and the seraglio my daughter. Death is easy for me, but I will not
let my daughter go into the harem nor myself be made a beggar. Therefore
I hired your vessel, and loaded it with grain. The owner, Athanas
Brazovics, is a connection of mine; I have often shown him kindness, he
can return it now. By a miracle we got safely through the rocks and
whirlpools of the river, and eluded the pursuit of the Turkish
brigantine, and now I stumble over a straw into my grave.

"That man who followed us last evening was a spy of the Turkish
government. He recognised me, and sealed my fate. The government would
not demand me from Austria as a political refugee, but as a thief. This
is unjust, for what I took was my own. But I am pursued as a thief, and
Austria gives up escaped thieves if Turkish spies can trace them. By
dying I can save my daughter and her property. Swear to me by your faith
and your honour you will carry out my instructions. Here in this casket
is about a thousand ducats. Take Timea to Athanas Brazovics, and beg him
to adopt my daughter. Give him the money, he must spend it on the
education of the child, and give him also the cargo, and beg him to be
present when the sacks are emptied. You understand?"

The dying man looked in Timar's face, and struggled for breath.
"Yes--the Red Crescent!" he stammered. "The Red Crescent!" Then the
death-throes closed his lips--one struggle, and he was a corpse.


_II.--Timor Tempted and Fallen_


When the St. Barbara had nearly reached Komorn it struck an uprooted
tree, lying in ambush under water, and immediately began to sink. It is
absolutely impossible to save a vessel wrecked in this way. The crew all
left the sinking craft, and Timar rescued Timea, and with her the casket
with the thousand ducats.

Then the captain drove off with the fatherless girl to the house of
Athanas Brazovics in the town of Komorn.

At first Athanas kissed Timea very heartily, but when he learnt that his
vessel was lost, and all Timea's property, except the thousand ducats,
and the wheat sacks--now spoilt by water--he altered his tune.

He and his wife Sophie decided that Timea should live with them as an
adopted child, and at the same time attend on their daughter Athalie as
a waiting-maid. Athalie and her mother treated the poor girl with
scornful contempt.

As for Timar, Athanas turned on him savagely, as though the captain
could have prevented the wreck!

On the advice of his friend, Lieutenant Katschuka, who was betrothed to
Athalie, Timar purchased the sunken grain next day when it was put up
for auction, buying the whole cargo for 10,000 gulden. "You will do the
poor orphan a good turn if you buy it," said the lieutenant. "Otherwise,
the value of the cargo will all go in salvage."

Timar at once made arrangements for hauling up the sacks, and for the
immediate drying and grinding of the corn, and all day labourers were at
work on the wreck.

At nightfall Timar, left alone, noticed one sack differently marked from
the rest--marked with a red crescent! Within this was a long leathern
bag. He broke it open and found it full of diamonds, emeralds, and
sapphires richly set in girdles and bracelets and rings. A whole heap of
unset diamonds were in an agate box. The whole treasure was worth at
least 1,000,000 gulden. The St. Barbara had carried a million on board!

"To whom does this treasure belong?"

Timar put the question to himself, and answered it.

"Why, whom should it belong to but you? You bought the sunken cargo,
just as it is, with the sacks and the grain. If the treasurer stole the
jewels from the sultan, the sultan probably stole them in his
campaigns."

"And Timea?"

"Timea would not know how to use the treasure, and her adopted father
would absorb it, and get rid of nine-tenths of it. What would be the
result if Timea gets it? She would be a rich lady, and would not cast a
look at you from her height. Now things are the other way--you will be a
rich man and she a poor girl. You do not want the treasure for yourself.
You will invest it profitably, and when you have earned with the first
million a second and a third, you will go to the poor girl and say,
'There, take it--it is all yours; and take me, too.' You only wish to
become rich in order to make her happy."

The moon and the waves cried to Timar, "You are rich--you are a made
man!"

But when it was dark an inward voice whispered,

"You are a thief!"

From that day all Timar's undertakings flourished, and step by step he
reached the summit of an ordinary successful business man's ambition--
the title of nobility. At the same time Brazovics, who had treated Timar
with brutal inconsiderateness because of the wreck of the St. Barbara,
went steadily down-hill, borrowing and embezzling trust monies in his
fall.

Lieutenant Katschuka had declared all along that he could not marry
Athalie without a dowry, and when the wedding day arrived, Brazovics,
unable to face his creditors, and knowing himself bankrupt, penniless,
and fraudulent, committed suicide. Katschuka immediately declared the
engagement at an end. In his heart he had long wearied of Athalie, and
looked with desire on Timea. The orphan girl from the first had loved
the lieutenant with silent, unspoken affection.

When the Brazovics' house was put up for sale Timar bought it outright,
furniture and all, and then said to Timea, "From this day forth you are
the mistress of this house. Everything in it belongs to you, all is
inscribed in your name. Accept it from me. You are the owner of the
house, and if there is a little shelter for me in your heart, and you
did not refuse my hand--then I should be only too happy."

Timea gave her hand to Timar, and said in a low, firm voice, "I accept
you as my husband, and will be a faithful and obedient wife."

This man had always been so good to her. He had never made sport of her
nor flattered her, and he had saved her life on the Danube when the St.
Barbara was sinking. He had given her all her heart could desire except
one thing, and that belonged to another.


_III.--The Ownerless Island_


On his betrothal to Timea a great burden was lifted from the soul of
Timar. Since the day when the treasure of Ali Tschorbadschi had enabled
him to achieve power and riches, Timar had been haunted by the voice of
self-accusation; "This money does not belong to you--it was the property
of an orphan. You are a man of gold! You are a thief!"

But now the defrauded orphan had received back her property. Only Timar
forgot that he had demanded in exchange the girl's heart.

Timea promised to be a faithful and obedient wife, but on the wedding-
day when Timar said, "Do you love me?" she only opened wide her eyes,
and asked, "What is love?"

Timar found he had married a marble statue; and that all his riches
would not buy his wife's love. He became wretched, conscious that his
wife was unhappy, that he was the author of their mutual misery.

Then, in the early summer, Timar went off from Komorn to shoot water-
fowl. He meant to go to the ownerless island at Ostrova--it was three
years since that former visit.

Therese and Noemi welcomed him cordially at the island, and Timar forgot
his troubles when he was with them. Therese told him her story; how her
husband, ruined by the father of Theodor Krisstyan and by Athanas
Brazovics, had committed suicide, and how, forsaken and friendless, she
had brought her child to this island, which neither Austria nor Turkey
claimed, and where no tax-collector called. With her own hands she had
turned the wilderness into a paradise, and the only fear she had was
that Theodor Krisstyan, who had discovered her retreat, might reveal it
to the Turkish government.

Therese had no money and no use for it, but she exchanged fruit and
honey for grain, salt, clothes, and hardware, and the people with whom
she bartered were not inclined to gossip about her affairs.

So no news concerning the island ever went to Vienna, Komorn, or
Constantinople, and the fact of Timar's great prosperity had not reached
the islanders. He was welcomed as a hard-working man, and Therese did
not know that Timar had been powerful enough to get a ninety years'
lease of the island from both Turkish and Austrian governments; perhaps
no very difficult matter, as the existence of the island was unknown,
and there were fees to be paid over the concession.

When he told her what he had done, Noemi threw her arms round his neck.

Theodor Krisstyan was furious, but Timar procured him a post in Brazil,
and for a long time the disreputable spy was too far off to be
troublesome.

And now on this island Timar found health and rest. It became his home,
and for the summer months every year he would slip away from Komorn, and
no one, not even Timea, guessed his secret. When he returned Timea's
cold white face was still an unsolved riddle to her husband. She would
greet him kindly, but never was there any token that she loved him.
Timar's ever-increasing business operations were excuse for his long
absences, but all the same the double life he was leading made him ill.
He could not tell Timea of Therese and Noemi, and he could not tell them
on the island that he was married.

Timea, on her side, devoted herself more and more to her husband's
business in his absence, and when Major Katschuka once called and asked
her if she could not arrange for a divorce, she answered gently, "My
husband is the noblest man in the world. Should I separate from him who
has no one but me to love him? Am I to tell him that I hate him, I who
owe everything to him, and who brought him no dowry but a loveless
heart?"

Timar learnt from Athalie, who lived in Timea's house, of this reply,
and felt more in despair than ever. He wanted Timea to be happy, she had
never been his wife except in name, for he had been waiting for her
love.

And he wanted to go away, and leave all his riches behind, and settle on
the island. Now more than ever was he wanted on the island, for Therese
had died of heart failure, and the years had made Noemi a woman.


_IV.--"My Name is Nobody"_


It was winter, and Timar had gone off alone to a house that belonged to
him near a frozen lake. He felt the time had come for flight, but
whither?

Theodor Krisstyan had turned up again. In Brazil he had heard a story of
Ali Tschorbadschi's jewels from an old criminal from Turkey, and he had
returned to blackmail Timar. But he did not find him till Timar was at
the frozen lake.

Krisstyan's story was not true. Timar knew that the accusations were
false as he listened to the vagabond's indictment. He had not "killed"
Timea's father, nor "stolen" his treasure. But he had played a false
game, and his position was a false one. Krisstyan demanded a change of
raiment, and Timar let him take clothes and shirts. But at last the
blackmailer's demands became too insolent, and Timar drove him out of
the house.

And now it seemed to Timar that his own career was finished. This
ruffian Krisstyan could expose the foundation of his wealth, and how
could he live discredited before the world?

On the frozen water there were great fissures between the blocks of ice.
Within the waves of the lake death would come quickly. Timar walked out
on the ice, and there before him the head of Theodor Krisstyan rose in
the water and then sank. The spy had not known the treachery of the
fissures.

Timar fled to the ownerless island, and when the corpse of Krisstyan was
discovered, in an advanced stage of decomposition, Timea declared she
recognized her husband's clothes.

So the body of Theodor Krisstyan was buried with great pomp, and a year
later Timea married Major Katschuka, and then, haunted by the doubt
whether her first husband was really dead, pined away.

No blessing rested on the wealth Timar left behind him. The only son
Timea bore to the major was a great spendthrift, and in his hands the
fabulous wealth vanished as quickly as it had grown.

       *       *       *       *       *

And what is passing meanwhile on the ownerless island?

Forty years have passed since Timar's disappearance from Komorn, and the
island is now a complete model farm. Recently, a friend of mine, an
ardent naturalist, took me to the island. I had heard as a child of
Timar and his wealth.

Every inch of ground is utilised or serves to beautify the place. The
tobacco grown here has the most exquisite aroma, and the beehives look
from a distance like a small town with many-shaped roofs.

It is easy to see that the owner of the island understands luxury, and
yet that owner never has a farthing to call his own; no money ever
enters the island. Those however, who need the exports know also the
requirements of the islanders, and bring them for barter.

The whole colony consisted of one family, and each was called only by
his Christian name. The six sons of the first settler had married women
of the district, and the numbers of grandchildren and
great-grandchildren already exceeded forty, but the island maintained
them all. Poverty was unknown; they lived in luxury; each knew some
trade, and if they had been ten times as many, their labour would have
supported them.

When we arrived on the island, the nominal head of the family, a
well-built man of forty, received us cordially, and in the evening
presented us to his parents.

When my name was mentioned to the old man he looked long at me, and a
visible colour rose in his cheeks. I began to tell him of what was going
on in the world, that Hungary was now united to Austria, and that the
taxes were very heavy.

He blew a cloud from his pipe, and the smoke said, "My island has
nothing to do with that, we have no taxes here."

I told him of wars, financial panics, the strife of religion and
politics, and the smoke seemed to say, "We wage war with no one here.
Thank God, we have no money here and no elections or ministers."

Presently the old man asked me where I was born, and what my profession
was? And when I told him that I wrote romances, he said, "Guess my
story. There was once a man who left a world in which he was admired and
respected, and created a second world in which he was loved."

"May I venture to ask your name?" I said.

The old man seemed to grow a head taller; then, raising his trembling
hands, he laid them on my head. And it seemed to me as if once, long,
long before those same hands had rested on my head when childish curls
covered it, and that I had seen that noble face before.

"My name is Nobody," he replied to my question; and after that night I
saw him no more during our stay on the island.

The privileges granted by two governments to the owner of the island
will last for fifty years more. And who knows what may happen to the
world in fifty years?

       *       *       *       *       *




COULSON KERNAHAN


A Dead Man's Diary


     Coulson Kernahan, born at Ilfracombe, England, Aug. 1, 1858,
     is a son of Dr. James Kernahan, M.A. He has contributed
     largely to periodicals, and has written in many veins,
     alternating serious and religious works with sensational
     novels, and literary criticism with humour and sport. It is by
     his imaginative booklets--now collected in one volume under
     the title of "Visions"--that he is best known. These booklets
     have circulated literally "by the million," and have been
     translated into no fewer than sixteen languages, including
     Chinese. "A Dead Man's Diary" appeared anonymously in 1890,
     and attracted unusual attention, the authorship being
     attributed, among others, to Harold Frederic and Robert
     Buchanan. Since then "A Dead Man's Diary"--of which Mr. J.M.
     Barrie, in reviewing it, said, "The vigour of the book is
     great, and the author has such a gift of intensity that upon
     many readers it will have mesmeric effect"--has gone through
     innumerable editions, in England and in America.


_I.--The Ghost of the Past_


Some years ago I became so seriously ill that I was pronounced dying,
and, finally, dead. Dead to all intents and purposes I remained for two
days, when, to the astonishment of the physicians, I exhibited symptoms
of returning vitality, and in a week was convalescent.

Of the moments preceding my passing I recollect only that there came
over me a strange and sudden sense of loss, as though some life-element
had gone out from me. Of pain there was none, nor any mental anxiety.

I recollect only an ethereal lightness of limb, and a sense of
soul-emancipation and peace, a sense of soul-emancipation such as one
might feel were he to awaken on a sunny summer morning to find that
sorrow and sin were gone from the world for ever, a peace ample and
restful as the hallowed hush and awe of twilight, without the twilight's
tender pain.

Then I seemed to be sinking slowly and steadily through still depths of
sun-steeped, light-filled waters that sang in my ears with a sound like
a sweet, sad sobbing and soaring of music, and through which there swam
up to me, in watered vistas of light, scenes of sunny seas and shining
shores where smiling isles stretched league beyond league afar.

And so life ebbed away, until there came a time when the outward and
deathward-setting tide seemed to reach its climax, and when I felt
myself swept shoreward and lifeward again on the inward-setting tide of
that larger life into which I had died.

My next recollection is that the events of my past life were rising
before me. The hands on the dial of time went back a score of years, and
I was a young man of twenty-one, living in chambers off Holborn. One
evening there burst over London a fearful thunderstorm, and hearing a
knock at my door, I opened it, to find a beautiful girl named Dorothy,
the daughter of the housekeeper, standing there. Terrified by the
lightning, and finding herself alone, she begged to be allowed to remain
until her mother's return.

The words had scarcely passed her lips before there came another
blinding flash of lightning, followed almost instantaneously by a
terrific crash of thunder. With a cry of passion and fear, she flung her
arms around me, and the next moment I found myself pressing her to my
heart and telling her, amid a score of burning kisses, that I loved her.

Almost immediately afterwards, we heard the opening of doors, which
indicated her mother's home-coming; but, before leaving, Dorothy told me
that the room immediately above mine was her own. Of the hell-born
thought which rose in my mind as I listened she, I am sure, had no
suspicion. Need I tell the remainder of my story? I think not.

       *       *       *       *       *

You may wonder, perhaps, why I recall circumstances that happened so
many years ago. You would cease to wonder had you seen the ghost of the
past rise up to call upon God and His Christ for judgment upon the
betrayer. For this was my first glimpse of hell; this was my day of
judgment. The recording angel of my awakened conscience showed me my
sin, and the ruin my sin had wrought, as God sees, and I realised
that--But no! I am sick, I am fainting! I cannot--I cannot write more.


_II.--The Secret of Man's Destiny_


"When anyone dies," I had been told in childhood, "he goes either to
heaven or to hell, according to whether he has been a good or bad man,"
and I recollect being not a little troubled as to what became of the
people whose virtues were about equally matched with their vices. When I
opened my eyes in that ante-chamber of the spirit-world into which I
have had admittance I discovered that heaven and hell as separate places
have no existence, for the good, the bad, and the indifferent exist
together exactly as they exist here. I do not say that there will be no
day of harvesting in which the tares shall finally be separated from the
wheat. On that point, as on many others, I am ignorant. Men and women
whom I know on earth speak of the dead--"the changed"--as being
perfected in knowledge and as having solved for ever "the great secret."
That is not my experience.

So far from "the great secret," the secret of man's destiny and God's
Being, becoming known at death, the facts as I found them are that these
remain almost as great a mystery after death as before.

Even in hell (I use the word as indicating mental or physical
suffering--in my case, the former--not with any local significance)
there are moments when the anguish-stricken spirit is mercifully allowed
a temporary reprieve. Such a moment occurred after the first awful
paroxysm of self-loathing and torture which I experienced when my past
life was made known to me in its true colours, and it was in this saner
and comparatively painless interval that I met one whom I had known on
earth as a woman of the purest life and character. Being still under the
impression that I was in hell in the sense in which I had been
accustomed to think of that place, I started back upon seeing her, and
cried out in astonishment, "You here! _You_! And in Hades!"

"Where else should I be except where Arthur is?" she answered quietly,
and I then remembered a worthless brother of that name to whom she was
passionately attached. "Even Dives in the parable," she went on, "was
unable to forget the five brethren he had left behind him, and cried out
amid the flames, asking that Lazarus be sent to warn them, lest they,
too, came to that place of torment. Is it likely, then, that any wife,
mother, or sister, worthy the name, would be content to remain idle in
heaven, knowing that a loved one was in hell and in agony? We are told
that after His death Christ preached to the spirits in prison, and I
believe that He came here to hell in search of the so-called lost."

"Tell me," I said, "you who are in heaven, if you are perfectly happy."

"You are not altogether wrong in calling this heaven," she replied,
"although it is little more than the antechamber between earth and
heaven. It is my heaven at present, but it will not be my heaven always,
any more than it will be always your hell, and although it is heaven, it
is not _the_ heaven. When I was on earth, I longed for heaven, _not that
I might be delivered from sorrow, but from sinfulness_; and I think I
may say that I am as happy here as my failures will let me be."

"Your failures!" I exclaimed. "I thought we had done with failures."

"You remember the text in the Koran," she said. "'Paradise is under the
shadow of swords.' Here, as on earth, there is no progress without
effort, and here, too, there are difficulties to be overcome. Yet even
on earth there was one element in the strife which lent dignity even to
our failures. Sin and shame are, after all, only human; the effort and
determination to overcome them are divine. Ceasing to be an angel, Satan
became a devil. Man falls, and even in his fall retains something of
God."

After a time we fell to talking of the past, and, mentioning the name of
the very noblest man I have ever known, a man who made possible the
purity of Sir Galahad, made possible the courage of Coeur de Lion--I had
almost said made possible the sinfulness of Christ--I inquired whether
she had seen him in Paradise.

"As yet," she answered, "I know only one of the many circles into which
the spirit-world seems naturally to resolve it. But I suspect that if
you and I could see where he is, we should find him infinitely nearer to
the Father-heart of the universe than I at least can for countless ages
hope to attain!"

"What do you mean by 'circles'?" I said. "Is each human soul on its
arrival here assigned a fitting place and level among his or her
spiritual fellows?"

"There is some such gathering of like to like as that of which you
speak," she answered. "The majority begin in a lower circle, and remain
there until they are fitted to move onward to a higher sphere. Others
take a place in that higher sphere immediately, and some few are led
into the Holy Presence straightway."

And then her voice seemed to sound to me like the voice of one in the
far distance; I felt the darkness closing in upon me on every side, and
knew that my hour of punishment was again at hand.


_III.--DEAD SOULS_


Of all the faces which I saw in hell, there was one which had for me a
fascination. It was that of a beautiful woman, queenly of manner, fair
of figure as a fullblown lily, and with those dark eyes that seem to
shine out from soul-depths, deep as the distant heaven, and yet may mean
no more than the shallow facing of quicksilver behind a milliner's
mirror.

On earth she had deliberately set herself to win and to break the heart
of a trusting lad, and the punishment of her sin was that she should now
love him with the same intense but hopeless passion with which he had
loved her. "My heart is broken," I heard her sob, "and in hell one
cannot die of a broken heart. If I had loved him, and he me, and he had
died, I could have borne it, knowing that I should meet him hereafter;
but to live loveless through eternity, that is the thought which kills
me."

Another sight which I saw was that of a desolate plain, low-lying and
unlighted, in the centre of which there roamed one who called out as if
in search of a companion, but to whom there came no answer save the echo
of his own voice. A more lonely and lifeless spot I have never seen. The
silence seemed sometimes to oppress him like a presence, for, with a
half-affrighted and despairing cry, he set off at a panic-stricken run,
as if seeking to escape this silence by flight; but, notwithstanding his
haste, he made no progress, for he was but moving round and round in a
circle. Once, when he passed near me, I heard him cry out: "Is there no
living soul in all this void and voiceless desert?" And, as he hurried
by, I recognised him as a man whom I had often heard say on earth that
hell would not be hell to him so long as he and his boon companions were
together.

Another whom I saw in Hades I should--save for his pitiable effort to
escape observation--have passed unnoticed. His pitfall in life had been
love of approbation, which was so strong that he was never happy except
in perpetually endeavoring to pass himself off for that which he knew he
was not. The only aim of his existence had been to win the approval of
others, and, lo! one morning he awoke in Hades to find himself the
despised of the despised, and the laughing stock of the very Devil. I
saw few more pitiable sights than that of this wretched creature,
slinking shamefacedly through hell, and wincing, as from a blow, at the
glance of every passer.

During my wanderings I had reason to ask one whom I had known on earth
concerning the fate of an old acquaintance of his own.

"I will tell you all I know, of the man about whom you ask," he said,
"but first let me explain that my sorest hindrance on earth was
unbelief. Once, when I might have believed, I would not, and my
punishment is that now, when I would believe, I cannot, but am for ever
torn by hideous apprehension and doubt. Moreover, there are many things
which, clear and plain as they may be to the faithful of heart and to
the believing, are to my doubting eyes wrapt around in mystery. Into
these mysteries it has been ordained as part of my punishment that I
shall ever desire to look, and of all these mysteries there is none
which fills me with such horror and dread as the mystery of the dead who
die."

"Of the dead who die!" I said. "What do you mean by those strange words?
Surely all who die are dead."

"They are my words," he cried excitedly, and with a hysterical laugh.
"The words I use to myself when I think of the mystery which they strove
so carefully to conceal from me, but which for all their cunning I have
discovered. When first I came here, I saw, either in hell or in heaven,
the faces of most of the dead whom I had known on earth, but some faces
there were--the man of whom you ask was one--which I missed, and from
that time to this I have never seen. 'Where, then, are they?' I asked
myself, 'since neither earth, hell, nor heaven knows them more? Has God
some fearful fate in store for sinners, which may one day fall upon me
as it has already fallen upon them?' And so I set myself to discover
what had become of these missing faces, and you shall hear the result.

"When you and I were children, we were taught that every human being is
born with an immortal soul. But they did not tell us that just as
neglected diseases can kill the body, so unchecked sin can kill the
soul. But it is so, and that is what I meant when I said that he of whom
you asked was 'of the dead who die.'

"You shake your head, and mutter that I am mad. Well, perhaps I am
mad--mad with the horror of my unbelief; but why should it not be as I
say? When God made man He made a creature to whom it was given to choose
for himself between good and evil. But God knew that some of those He
had thus made would deliberately choose evil, that some few would indeed
sin away all trace of their Divine origin. God did not _will_ it so, for
He made us men, not machines, and the evil we do is of our own choosing;
but God _fore-knew_ it, and, foreknowing that, God owed it to Himself
not to call into being a creature the result of whose creation would be
that creature's eternal misery. Hence it was that He decreed that those
for whom there could be no hope of heaven should die out at their deaths
like the brutes. Our life is from God, and may not God take His own
again? And could anything better happen to many people whom you and I
have known on earth than that they should be allowed to die out, and the
very memory of them to pass away for ever?"

I was convinced that he was mad--mad, as he had himself hinted, with the
horror of his unbelief.

"And I am one of them," he exclaimed. "I am of the dead who die! I have
bartered away life, faith, and happiness for Dead Sea fruit; I, who once
was young, and not altogether as I now am, a soulless creature of clay!
For I can remember the time when flowers, pictures, beautiful faces, and
music set stirring emotions within me, in which it seemed that I saw
hidden away in the depths of my own heart the shining form of a
white-robed soul-maiden, who cried out to me: 'Ah, cannot you make your
life as pure and beautiful as the flowers and the music, that so you may
set me free?'

"But I chose the ignoble part, and gave myself up, body and soul, to
evil and unbelief. And often in the hour when I was tempted to some
shameful action I seemed to see the white arms of the soul-maiden
uplifted in piteous entreaty to heaven, but at last the time came when
her voice was silent, and when I knew that I had thrust her down into a
darkness whence she would never again come forth!

"And now the very soul of me is dead, and I know not but that at any
moment I may flicker out like a spent taper, and become as one of the
dead who die!"


_IV.--On the Brink of the Pit_


At last there came a time, even in hell, when the burden of my sin lay
so heavily upon me that I felt, if succour there was none, the very soul
of me must die.

Of myself, save for the continual crying out of my soul after its lost
purity, I scarcely cared to think. It was for Dorothy that I never
ceased to sorrow, and--sinner though I was--to pray. I saw then,
pictured forth in all their horror, the inevitable consequences of the
wrong I had done her. I saw her, with the sense of her sin as yet but
fresh upon her, shrinking from every glance, and fancying that she read
the knowledge of her guilt in every eye. I saw her not knowing where to
turn for refuge from swiftly advancing shame and understanding no more
of this life of ours than a foolish lost lamb, wandering farther and
farther in the nightfall.

And then--driven out from their midst by the very Christian women who
should have been the first to have held out a hand to save--I saw her
turn away with a heart hardened into indifference, and plunge headlong
into a bottomless gulf of ignominy and sin. Nor did the vision pass
until, out of that seething vortex of lust and infamy, I saw arise the
black phantom of a lost soul crying out unto God and His Christ for
judgment upon the betrayer.

As these hideous spectres of the past came before me, I fell to the
ground, borne down by a burden of agony greater even than the very
damned in hell can bear. But even as I fell, that burden was lifted and
borne away from me, and then I saw, as in a vision, One kneeling in
prayer. And I, who had cried out that I could bear the burden of my sin
no longer, saw that upon Him was laid, not only my sin, but the sins of
the whole world, and that He stooped of His own accord to receive them.
And as I looked upon the Divine dignity of that agonised form--forsaken
of His Father that we might never be forsaken--I saw great beads of
blood break out like sweat upon His brow, and I heard wrung from Him a
cry of such unutterable anguish as never before rose from human lips.
And at that cry the vision passed, and I awoke to find myself in hell
once more, but in my heart there was a stirring as of the wings of
hope--the hope which I had deemed dead for ever.

_Could_ it be--O God of mercy! was it possible that even now it might
not be too late?--that there was indeed One Who could make my sin as
though it had never been?

But to this hope there succeeded a moment when the agonised thought,
"How if there be no Christ?" leapt out at me, like the darkness which
looms but the blacker for the lightning-flash; a moment when hell got
hold of me again, and a thousand gibbering devils arose to shriek in my
ear: "And though there be a Christ, is it not now too late?"

I reeled at that cry, and the darkness once more closed in around. A
horde of hideous thoughts, the very spawn of hell, swarmed like vermin
in my mind; there was the breath as of a host of contending fiends upon
my face; a hundred hungry hands seemed to lay hold on me, and to strive
to drag me down and down to a bottomless pit that opened at my very
feet, and into which I felt myself slipping. With a great cry to God I
strove to rise, but my strength failed me, and I had fallen back into
the abyss had not one, white-robed as the morning, come suddenly to
succour me by stretching forth a hand of aid; and so--beating and
battling like a drowning man for breath--I fought my way out, and fell
sobbing and faint upon the pit's brink. And with a great cry of anguish
I prayed aloud, "Lord Christ! I am foul and sinful! I do not know that I
love Thee! I do not even know that I have repented of my sins! I only
know that I cannot do the things I would do, and that I can never undo
the evil I have done. But I come to Thee, Lord Jesus, I come to Thee as
Thou biddest me. Send me not away, O Saviour of sinners."

As I made an end of praying, I looked up and saw standing beside me One,
thorn-crowned and with wounded side, _Whose features were the features
of a man, but Whose face was the face of God_.

And as I looked upon that face I shrank back dazed, and breathless, and
blinded--shrank back with a cry like the cry of one smitten of the
lightning; for beneath the wide white brows there shone out eyes, before
the awful purity of which my sin-stained soul seemed to scorch and to
shrivel like a scroll in a furnace. But as I lay, lo! there came a
tender touch upon my head, and a voice in my ear that whispered, "Son."

And as the word died away into a silence like the hallowed hush of
listening angels, and I stretched forth my arms with a cry of
unutterable longing and love, I say that He held one by the hand--even
the one who had plucked me out of the abyss into which I had fallen--and
I saw that it was Dorothy--Dorothy whom He had sought out and saved from
the shame to which my sin had driven her, and whom He had sent to
succour me, that so He might set upon my soul the seal of His pardon and
of His peace.

       *       *       *       *       *




CHARLES KINGSLEY


Alton Locke


     Charles Kingsley, English novelist, poet, and clergyman, was
     born June 12, 1819, and died Jan. 23, 1875. The son of the
     rector of Chelsea, London, Kingsley went from King's College,
     London, to Cambridge, taking his B.A. degree in 1842, and
     becoming rector of Eversley in 1844. He was made one of the
     Queen's chaplains in 1859, and in 1873 was appointed canon of
     Westminster. After publishing "Village Sermons" and "The
     Saint's Tragedy," Kingsley took part with F.D. Maurice in the
     Christian Socialist movement of 1848, attacking the horrible
     sweating then rife in the tailoring trade, calling attention
     to the miserable plight of the agricultural labourer, and the
     need for sanitary reform in town and country. In "Alton Locke,
     Tailor and Poet," first published in 1849, Kingsley writes
     from the point of view of the earnest artisan of sixty years
     ago, and the success of the book, following the author's
     pamphlet on "Cheap Clothes and Nasty," did much to stimulate
     social and philanthropic work in London and other great
     industrial centres. Various editions of the novels of Kingsley
     are obtainable.


_I.--A Sweating Shop_


I am a cockney among cockneys.

My earliest recollections are of a suburban street; of his jumble of
little shops and little terraces.

My mother was a widow. My father, whom I cannot recollect, was a small
retail tradesman in the city. He was unfortunate, and when he died, as
many small tradesmen do, of bad debts and a broken heart, he left us
beggars, and my mother came down and lived penuriously enough in that
suburban street.

My mother moved by rule and method; by God's law, as she considered, and
that only. She seldom smiled. She never commanded twice without
punishing. And yet she kept the strictest watch over our morality.

Sometimes on a Sunday evening the ministers of the Baptist chapel would
come in to supper after the meeting. The elder was a silver-haired old
man, who loved me; and I loved him, too, for there were always lollipops
in his pocket for me and for my only sister Susan. The other was a
younger man, tall and dark. He preached a harsher doctrine than his
gentler colleague, and was much the greater favourite at the chapel. I
hated him; and years later he married my sister.

When I had turned thirteen, my father's brother, who had risen in
wealth, and now was the owner of a first-rate grocery business in the
City and a pleasant villa at Herne Hill, and had a son preparing for
Cambridge, came to visit us. When he had gone my mother told me, very
solemnly and slowly, that I was to be sent to a tailor's workrooms the
next day.

What could my uncle make me but a tailor--or a shoemaker? A pale,
consumptive boy, all forehead and no muscle.

With a beating heart I shambled along by my mother's side to Mr. Smith's
shop, in a street off Piccadilly, and here Mr. Smith handed me over to
Mr. Jones, the foreman, with instructions to "take the young man
upstairs to the workroom."

I stumbled after Mr. Jones up a dark, narrow, iron staircase till we
emerged through a trap-door into a garret at the top of the house. I
recoiled with disgust at the scene before me; and here I was to
work--perhaps through life! A low room, stifling me with the combined
odours of human breath and perspiration, stale beer, the sweet sickly
smell of gin, and the sour and hardly less disgusting one of new cloth.
On the floor, thick with dust and dirt, scraps of stuff and ends of
thread, sat some dozen haggard, untidy, shoeless men, with a mingled
look of care and recklessness that made me shudder. The windows were
tight-closed to keep out the cold winter air, and the condensed breath
ran in streams down the panes.

The foreman turned to one of the men, and said, "Here, Crossthwaite,
take this younker and make a tailor of him. Keep him next you, and prick
him with your needle if he shirks."

Mechanically, as if in a dream, I sat down, and as the foreman vanished
a burst of chatter rose. A tall, sharp-nosed young man bawled in my ear,
"I say, young 'un, do you know why we're nearer heaven here than our
neighbours?"

"Why?" I asked.

"Acause we're the top of the house in the first place, and next place
yer'll die here six months sooner nor if yer worked in the room below.
Concentrated essence of man's flesh is this here as you're a-breathing.
Cellar workroom we calls Rheumatic Ward, acause of the damp. Ground
floor's Fever Ward--your nose'd tell yer why if you opened the back
windy. First floor's Ashmy Ward--don't you hear 'um now through the
cracks in the boards, apuffing away like a nest of young locomotives?
And this here most august and uppercrust cock-loft is the Consumptive
Hospital. First you begins to cough, then you proceeds to expectorate,
and then when you've sufficiently covered the poor dear shivering backs
of the hairystocracy--

    Die, die, die,
    Away you fly,
    Your soul is in the sky!

as the hinspired Shakespeare wittily remarks."

And the ribald lay down on his back, stretched himself out, and
pretended to die in a fit of coughing, which last was, alas! no
counterfeit, while poor I, shocked and bewildered, let my tears fall
fast upon my knees.

I never told my mother into what pandemonium I had fallen, but from that
time my great desire was to get knowledge. I fancied that getting
knowledge I should surely get wisdom, and books, I thought, would tell
me all I needed.

That was how it was I came to know Sandy Mackaye, whose old book-shop I
used to pass on my walk homeward. One evening, as I was reading one of
the books on his stall, the old man called me in and asked me abruptly
my name, and trade, and family.

I told him all, and confessed my love of books. And Mackaye encouraged
me, and taught me Latin, and soon had me to lodge in his old shop, for
my mother in her stern religion would not have me at home because I
could not believe in the Christianity which I heard preached in the
Baptist chapel.


_II.--I Move Among the Gentlefolks_


The death of our employer threw many of us out of work, for the son who
succeeded to the business determined to go ahead with the times, and to
that end decided to go in for the "show-trade"; which meant an
alteration in the premises, the demolition of the work-rooms, and the
giving out of the work to be made up at the men's own homes.

Mackaye would have me stay with him.

"Ye'll just mind the shop, and dust the books whiles," he said.

But this I would not do, for I thought the old man could not afford to
keep me in addition to himself. Then he suggested that I should go to
Cambridge and see my cousin, with a view to getting the poems published
which I had been writing ever since I started tailoring.

"He's bound to it by blude," said Sandy; "and I'm thinking ye'd better
try to get a list o' subscribers."

So to Cambridge I went.

It was some time since I had seen my cousin George, and at our last
meeting he had taken me to the Dulwich Gallery. It was there that two
young ladies, one so beautiful that I was dazzled, and an elderly
clergyman, whom my cousin told me was a dean, had spoken to me about the
pictures, and that interview marked a turning point in my life. When I
got to Cambridge, and had found my cousin's rooms, I was received kindly
enough.

"You couldn't have got on at tailoring--much too sharp a fellow for
that," he said, on hearing my story. "You ought to be at college, if one
could only get you there. Those poems of yours--you must let me have
them and look over them, and I dare say I shall be able to persuade the
governor to do something with them."

Lord Lynedale came to my cousin's rooms next day--George told me plainly
that he made friends with those who would advance him when he was a
clergyman--and taking an interest in a self-educated author, bade me
bring my poems to the Eagle and ask for Dean Winnstay. Lord Lynedale was
to marry Dean Winnstay's niece. When I arrived at the Eagle, the first
person I saw was Lillian--for so her father, the dean, called her--the
younger lady, my heroine of the Dulwich Gallery, looking more beautiful
than ever. I could have fallen down--fool that I was!--and worshipped--
what? I could not tell you, for I cannot tell even now.

The dean smiled recognition, bade me sit down, and disposed my papers on
his knee. I obeyed him, trembling, my eyes devouring my idol, forgetting
why I had come, seeing nothing but her, listening for nothing but the
opening of those lips.

"I think I may tell you at once that I am very much surprised and
gratified with your poems," said the old gentleman.

"How very fond of beautiful things you must be, Mr. Locke," said
Lillian, "to be able to describe so passionately the longing after
them!"

I stammered out something about working-men having very few
opportunities of indulging the taste for--I forget what.

"Ah, yes! I dare say it must be a very stupid life. So little
opportunity, as he says. What a pity he is a tailor, papa! Such an
unimaginative employment! How delightful it would be to send him to
college and make him a clergyman!"

Fool that I was! I fancied--what did I not fancy?--never seeing how that
very "_he_" bespoke the indifference--the gulf between us. I was not a
man, an equal, but a thing--a subject, who was to be talked over and
examined, and made into something like themselves, of their supreme and
undeserved benevolence.

"Gently! Gently, fair lady!" said the dean. "We must not be as headlong
as some people would kindly wish to be. If this young man really has a
proper desire to rise to a higher station, and I find him a fit object
to be assisted in that praiseworthy ambition, why, I think he ought to
go to some training college. Now attend to me, sir! Recollect, if it
should be in our power to assist your prospects in life, you must give
up, once and for all, the bitter tone against the higher classes which I
am sorry to see in your MSS. Next, I think of showing these MSS. to my
publisher, to get opinion as to whether they are worth printing just
now. Not that it is necessary that you should be a poet. Most active
minds write poetry at a certain age. I wrote a good deal, I recollect,
myself. But that is no reason for publishing."

At this point Lillian fled the room, to my extreme disgust. But still
the old man prosed.

"I think, therefore, that you had better stay with your cousin for the
next week. I hear from Lord Lynedale that he is a very studious, moral,
rising young man, and I only hope that you will follow his good example.
At the end of the week I shall return home, and then I shall be glad to
see more of you at my house at D----. Good-morning!"

My cousin and I stayed at D---- long enough for the dean to get a reply
from the publishers concerning my poems. They thought that the sale of
the book might be greatly facilitated if certain passages of a strong
political tendency were omitted; they were somewhat too strong for the
present state of the public taste.

On the dean's advice, I weakly consented to have the book emasculated.
Next day I returned to town, for Sandy Mackaye had written me a
characteristic note telling me that he could deposit any trash I had
written in a paper called the "Weekly Warwhoop."

Before I went from D----, my cousin George warned me not to pay so much
attention to Miss Lillian if I wished to stand well with Eleanor, the
dean's niece, who was to marry Lord Lynedale. He left me suspecting that
he had remarked Eleanor's wish to cool my admiration for Lillian, and
was willing, for his own purposes, to further it.


_III.--Riot and Imprisonment_


At last my poems were printed and published, and I enjoyed the sensation
of being a real live author. What was more, my book "took" and sold, and
was reviewed favourably in journals and newspapers.

It struck me that it would be right to call upon the dean, and so I went
to his house off Harley Street. The good old man congratulated me on my
success, and I saw Lillian, and sat in a delirium of silent joy. Lord
Lynedale had become Lord Ellerton, and I listened to the praises that
were sung of the newly married couple--for Eleanor had become Lady
Ellerton, and had entered fully into all her husband's magnificent
philanthropic schemes--a helpmeet, if not an oracular guide.

After this, I had an invitation to tea in Lillian's own hand, and then
came terrible news that Lord Ellerton had been killed by a fall from his
horse, and that the dean and Miss Winnstay had left London; and for
three years I saw them no more.

What happened in those three years?

Mackaye had warned me not to follow after vanity. He was a Chartist, and
with him and Crossthwaite, my old fellow-workman, I was vowed to the
Good Cause of the Charter. Now I found that I had fallen under
suspicion.

"Can you wonder if our friends suspect you?" said Crossthwaite. "Can you
deny that you've been off and on lately between flunkeydom and the
Cause, like a donkey between two bundles of hay? Have you not neglected
our meetings? Have you not picked all the spice out of your poems?
Though Sandy is too kind-hearted to tell you, you have disappointed us
both miserably, and there's the long and short of it."

I hid my face in my hands. My conscience told me that I had nothing to
answer.

Mackaye, to spare me, went on to talk of the agricultural distress, and
Crossthwaite explained that he wanted to send a deputation down to the
country to spread the principles of the Charter.

"I will go," I said, starting up. "They shall see I do care for the
Cause. Where is the place?"

"About ten miles from D----."

"D----!" My heart sank. If it had been any other spot! But it was too
late to retract.

With many instructions from our friends and warnings from Mackaye, I
started next day on my journey. I arrived in the midst of a dreary,
treeless country, and a little pert, snub-nosed shoemaker met me, and we
walked together across the open down towards a circular camp, the
earthwork, probably, of some old British town.

Inside it, some thousand or so of labouring people, all wan and haggard,
with many women among them, were swarming restlessly round a single
large block of stone.

I made my way to the stone, and listened as speaker after speaker poured
out a string of incoherent complaints. Only the intense earnestness gave
any force to the speeches.

I noticed that many of the crowd carried heavy sticks, and pitchforks,
and other tools which might be used as fearful weapons; and when a
fierce man with a squint asked who would be willing to come "and pull
the farm about the folks' ears," I felt that now or never was the time
for me to speak. If once the spirit of mad, aimless riot broke loose, I
had not only no chance of a hearing, but every likelihood of being
implicated in deeds which I abhorred.

I sprang on the stone, assured them of the sympathy of the London
working-men, and explained the idea of the Charter.

To all which they answered surlily that they did not know anything about
politics--that what they wanted was bread.

In vain I went on, more vehement than ever; the only answer was that
they wanted bread. "And bread we will have!"

"Go, then!" I cried, losing my self-possession. "Go, and get bread!
After all, you have a right to it. There are rights above all laws, and
the right to live is one."

I had no time to finish. The murmur swelled into a roar for "Bread!
Bread!" And amid yells and execrations, the whole mass poured down the
hill, sweeping me away with them. I was shocked and terrified at their
threats. I shouted myself hoarse about the duty of honesty; warned them
against pillage and violence; but my voice was drowned in the uproar. I
felt I had helped to excite them, and dare not, in honour, desert them;
and trembling, I went on, prepared to see the worst.

A large mass of farm buildings lay before us, and the mob rushed
tumultuously into the yard--just in time to see an old man on horseback
gallop hatless away.

"The old rascal's gone! And he'll call up the yeomanry! We must be
quick, boys!" shouted one.

The invaders entered the house, and returned, cramming their mouths with
bread, and chopping asunder flitches of bacon. The granary doors were
broken open, and the contents were scrambled for, amid immense waste, by
the starving wretches.

Soon the yard was a pandemonium, as the more ruffianly part of the mob
hurled furniture out of windows, or ran off with anything they could
carry. The ricks had been fired, and the food of man, the labour of
years, devoured in aimless ruin, when some one shouted: "The yeomanry!"
And at that sound a general panic ensued.

I did not care to run. I was utterly disgusted, disappointed, with
myself--the people. I just recollect the tramp of the yeomanry horses,
and a clear blade gleaming in the air, and after that I recollect
nothing--till I awoke and found myself lying on a truckle-bed in D----
gaol, and a warder wrapping my head with wet towels.

Mackaye engaged an old compatriot as attorney at the trial, and I was
congratulated on "only getting three years."

The weary time went by. Week after week, month after month, summer after
summer, I scored the days off, like a lonely schoolboy, on the pages of
a calendar.

Not till I was released did I learn from Sandy Mackaye that my cousin
George was the vicar of his church, and that he was about to marry
Lillian Winnstay.


_IV.--In Exile_


Brave old Sandy Mackaye died on the morning of the tenth of April, 1848,
the day of the great Chartist demonstration at Kennington Common.
Mackaye had predicted failure, and every one of his predictions came
true. The people did not rise. Whatever sympathy they had with us, they
did not care to show it. The meeting broke up pitiably piecemeal,
drenched and cowed, body and soul, by pouring rain.

That same night, after wandering dispiritedly in the streets by the
river, I was sick with typhus fever.

I know not for how long my dreams and delirium lasted, but I know that
at last I sank into a soft, weary, happy sleep.

Then the spell was snapped. My fever and my dreams faded away together,
and I woke to the twittering of the sparrows and the scent of the
poplars, and found Eleanor, Lady Ellerton, and her uncle sitting by my
bed, and with them Crossthwaite's little wife.

I would have spoken, but Eleanor laid her finger on her lips, and taking
her uncle's arm, glided from the room.

Slowly, and with relapses into insensibility, I passed, like one who
recovers from drowning, through the painful gate of birth into another
life.

Crossthwaite and his wife, as they sat by me, tender and careful nurses
both, told me in time that to Eleanor I owed all my comforts. "She's an
angel out of heaven," he said. "Ah, Alton, she was your true friend all
the time, and not that other one, if you had but known it."

I could not rest till I had heard more of Lady Ellerton.

"Why, then, she lives not far off. When her husband died, she came, my
wife Katie tells me, and lived for one year down somewhere in the East
End, among the needlewomen. And now she's got a large house hereby, with
fifty or more in it, all at work together, sharing the earnings among
themselves, and putting into their own pockets the profits which would
have gone to their tyrants; and she keeps the accounts for them, and
gets the goods sold, and manages everything, and reads to them while
they work, and teaches them every day."

Crossthwaite went on to speak of Mackaye.

"When old Mackaye's will was read, he had left L400 he'd saved, to be
parted between you and me, on condition that we'd go and cool down
across the Atlantic, and if it hadn't been for your illness, I'd have
been in Texas now."

Often did I see Eleanor in those days of convalescence, but it was not
till a month had gone by that I summoned courage to ask after my cousin.
Eleanor looked solemnly at me.

"Did you not know it? He is dead--of typhus fever. He died three weeks
ago; and not only he, but the servant who brushed his clothes, and the
shopman who had a few days before brought him a new coat home."

"How did you learn all this?"

"From Mr. Crossthwaite, who found out that you most probably caught your
fever from a house near Blackfriars, and in that house this very coat
had been turned out, and had covered a body dead of typhus."

Half unconscious, I stammered Lillian's name inquiringly.

"She is much changed; sorrow and sickness--for she, too, has had the
fever--have worn her down. Little remains now of that loveliness----"

"Which I idolised in my folly."

"I tried to turn you from your dream. I knew there was nothing there for
your heart to rest upon. I was even angry with you for being the
_protege_ of anyone but myself."

       *       *       *       *       *

Eleanor bade me go, and I obeyed her, and sailed--and here I am. And she
bade me write faithfully the story of my life, and I have done so.

Yes, I have seen the land! Like a purple fringe upon the golden sea. But
I shall never reach the land. Weaker and weaker, day by day, with
bleeding lungs and failing limbs, I have travelled the ocean paths. The
iron has entered too deeply into my soul.

       *       *       *       *       *

This is an extract from a letter by John Crossthwaite.

"Galveston, Texas, October, 1848.

"And now for my poor friend, whose papers, according to my promise to
him, I transmit to you. On the very night on which he seems to have
concluded them--an hour after we had made the land--we found him in his
cabin, dead, resting peacefully as if he had slumbered."

       *       *       *       *       *




Hereward the Wake


     With, the appearance of "Hereward the Wake," sometimes called
     "Hereward, the Last of the English," Kingsley brought to a
     close a remarkable series of works of fiction. Although the
     story was not published until 1866, the germ of it came to
     Kingsley, according to Mrs. Kingsley's "Memoirs" of her
     husband, during the summer of 1848, while on a visit to
     Crowland Abbey, near Peterborough, with the Rev. F.D. Maurice.
     As its title implies, the romance is suggested by the life and
     adventures of Hereward, a Saxon yeoman who flourished about
     1070. The story itself perhaps does not move along with the
     same spirit and vigour that characterise Kingsley's earlier
     works; it shows, nevertheless, that he had lost none of his
     cunningness for dramatic situations, nor his vivid powers of
     visualising scenes and events of the past.


_I.--Hereward Seeks His Fortune_


In the year of Canute's death was born Hereward, second son of Leofric,
Earl of Mercia, and Godiva. At the age of eighteen he was a wild,
headstrong, passionate lad, short in stature, but very broad, and his
eyes were one blue and one grey. Always in trouble with authority, the
climax came when he robbed Herluin, steward of Peterborough, of a sum of
sixteen silver pennies collected for the use of the monastery, and for
this exploit he was outlawed.

Accordingly, he left his home and went north, to Siward, who was engaged
in war with Macbeth, and for aught we know he may have helped to bring
great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill. However that may be, he stayed
in Scotland with one Gilbert of Ghent, at whose house, among other
doughty deeds, single-handed he slew a mighty white bear that escaped
from captivity, incidentally saving the life of a pretty little maiden
named Alftruda, and earning the hatred of the other men, who had not
dared to face the bear.

Finding Scotland a little uncomfortable in consequence, he went to
Cornwall, taking with him only his faithful servant Martin, and there at
the court of Alef, a Danish kinglet, he had cause to kill a local
celebrity, a giant named Ironhook, who was betrothed to Alef's daughter,
though much against her will, she being in love with Sigtryg, son of
Ranald, king of Waterford.

So Hereward went to Waterford with a ring and a message from the
princess, returning later with Sigtryg, only to find that Alef had
betrothed his daughter afresh to Hannibal of Marazion, and the wedding
ceremony was actually proceeding when they arrived. An ambush was laid
for the returning bridal party, Hannibal duly accounted for, and the
princess carried off to Waterford, where they

    Prepared another wedding
    With all their hearts so full of glee.

Earl Leofric dead, Hereward determined to take the risk of returning
home, to which end he begged two ships from Ranald and set sail. Thrown
by a storm on the Flanders coast, he and all his men were like to have
been knocked on the head, after the friendly custom of the times, but
for the intervention of Arnoul, grandson of Baldwin of Flanders.

Entering his service, Hereward assisted Baldwin in an argument with
Eustace of Guisnes, who differed with his lord on the question of
payment of certain dues, and so keenly did he reason that the difference
of opinion was satisfactorily composed--from Baldwin's point of view.

Anon a war with Holland claimed attention, but in the meantime Hereward
had fallen in love with a most beautiful damsel named Torfrida, niece of
the Abbot of St. Berlin, reputed a sorceress. Her favour he won in the
lists from Sir Ascelin, to whom she had committed it, and upon him she
bestowed it, together with her love and a suit of magic armour, through
which no sword could pierce.

Then Hereward went off to Holland, and there he encountered Dirk
Hammerhand, from whom to take a buffet was never to need another, and
bought from him his famous mare Swallow, the price agreed on being the
half of what Hereward had offered and a box on the ear.

"Villain!" groaned Dirk as he lay on the ground. "It was I who was to
give the buffet, not thou!"

"Art mad?" said Hereward, as he coolly picked up the coins which Dirk
had scattered in his fall. "It is the seller's business to take, and the
buyer's to give."

In Holland Hereward remained a year, but as, under the terms of a wager
made in a boastful mood, he went through the campaign without any armour
and without changing his clothes, it was a disreputable looking man with
many a wound who returned to Bruges, where, at the court of Adela, a
jest was played on Torfrida by the countess, not without the privity of
Hereward.

For before all her ladies Adela took her to task for having so long
remained unmarried. Then, forming the assembly into a court of love, she
asked the ladies what punishment should be meted out. One said one
thing, one another.

"Marry her to a fool," said Richilda.

"Too common a misfortune," said the Lady of France. "No," said she. "We
will marry her to the first man who enters the castle."

And from her sentence there was no appeal. Married poor Torfrida must
be, and to the first man who happened in, be he who he might. And the
first man was a ragged beggarman, with whom, when he was introduced into
the presence, Torfrida was preparing to deal in her own way with a
little knife, be the cost what it might, when she recognised the eye of
grey and the eye of blue.


_II.--Hereward Encounters Some Old Friends_


In the spring it was hey for the war again, whence Hereward returned in
November to find himself the father of a daughter and the recipient of
letters from Harold of England and William of Normandy, both asking his
assistance. Regarding Harold as a usurper, Hereward bluntly told him so.
To William his reply was equally decisive, but less uncompromising.
"When William is King of all England, Hereward will put his hands
between his and be his man."

Whereat William laughed. "It is a fair challenge from a valiant man," he
said to the messenger. "The day shall come when I shall claim it."

In Bruges one day Hereward found Gilbert of Ghent, who for reasons of
his own had come thither with his ward Alftruda, and mightily
disappointed was Gilbert to find him married; for he had a scheme
whereby Hereward should marry Alftruda, and he should share her dowry,
which was great. Alftruda, too, was mightily displeased, as she seemed
one whom Hereward thought the most beautiful he had ever beheld; indeed,
for one moment he even forgot Torfrida, and gazed at her spellbound. The
only remark she vouchsafed to her former preserver was a whispered "So
you could not wait for me," and then passed on to marry Dolfin,
Gospatric's eldest son; and Gilbert pursued his way to France to join
the Norman.

After that news came thick and fast.

News of Harold Hardraada sailing to England with a mighty host, of how
the Gonfanon of St. Peter had come to Rouen, of William of Normandy's
preparations at St. Pierre sur Dive, of the Norsemen landing in the
Humber. Anon the news of Stamford Bridge and Hardraada's death, and
lastly news of Senlac, and the death of the other Harold.

For well-nigh three years after these great happenings Hereward stayed
in Flanders, grieving for the woes that had come upon his native land.
Not that he sat moping all the time, for some deed of arms was ever on
hand to afford distraction; but in the main his thoughts all turned on
schemes for freeing England from the French tyrant. But not till Gyda,
Harold's widowed mother, came to Baldwin for sanctuary did he take any
overt action.

By skilful flattery, not unmixed with truth, she persuaded him that he
was the man destined to free England once more; and so one morning he
set out alone, accompanied only by Martin Lightfoot and a dozen
house-carles, to spy out the land and see what might be done. Within a
week he landed at Boston, only to find that Bourne, his home, had been
bestowed upon the cook of Gilbert of Ghent, and that at that moment his
younger brother's head was decorating the gable of the hall.

And so to Bourne went Hereward by night, and burst in upon the Frenchmen
during a drunken carouse: in the morning there were fifteen heads upon
the gable to replace the one that he had taken down overnight. Forthwith
he returned to Flanders, having bestowed his mother in safety at
Crowland Abbey, with a promise to his countrymen of the Fens that he
would return to aid them shortly.


_III.--Hereward in England_


Having settled his affairs in Flanders, in due time he landed once more
in the Wash with Torfrida and the child and two shiploads of stout
fighters, with whom he went through Fenland raising an army. In the
spring came Sweyn with his Danes, all eager for plunder; and Hereward
had much ado to prevent them from plundering Crowland Abbey, only
succeeding by promising them a richer booty in Peterborough.

So Peterborough they took and sacked, but at Peterborough Hereward found
Alftruda, who had left her husband, and rescued her from the Danes
during the sack of the minster. And, looking upon her extraordinary
beauty, for the second time he forgot Torfrida; but for all that he sent
her for safety to old Gilbert of Ghent, who had thrown in his lot with
William, and was now at Lincoln. Having done with Peterborough, and
later with Stamford, the army marched to Ely and there encamped.

And in Ely a great council was held, after which Sweyn and all his Danes
returned home. For as Sweyn truly said, "While William the Frenchman is
king by the sword, and Edgar the Englishman king by proclamation of
earls and thanes, there seems no room here for Sweyn, nephew of Canute,
king of kings." To which Hereward could advance no good reason to prove
that there was. Anon came William of Ely, and built a floating bridge a
full half-mile in length across the black abyss of mud and reeds that
yawned between the island and the mainland. But the bridge was unable to
bear the weight of all the French who crowded on to it; the fastenings
at the shore-end broke, and the bridge itself overturned, so that all
upon it were thrown into the mud and miserably drowned.

Whereon William withdrew his forces to Brandon for a space, and
Hereward, being minded to find out for himself what next was purposed
against the island, followed him thither, with shorn hair and beard, and
disguised as a travelling potter. Anon he came to William's palace with
his good mare Swallow, bearing on her back a load of crockery. At the
palace he narrowly escaped recognition, being sent to the kitchen, where
he got into a quarrel with the scullions. In consequence of which he was
haled before William himself, who quickly detected that he was other
than he pretended.

"Look you," said William, "you are no common churl--you have fought too
well for that; show me your arm."

Hereward drew up his sleeve.

"Potters do not carry sword-scars like these, nor are they tattooed like
English thanes. Hold up thy head, man, and let me see thy throat.

"Aha! so I suspected. There is fair ladies' work there. Is not this he
who was said to be so like Hereward? Very good. Put him in ward till I
come back from hunting, but do him no harm. For were he Hereward
himself, I should be right glad to see Hereward safe and sound; my man
at last, and earl of all between Humber and the Fens." Whereupon
Hereward was clapped into an outhouse, whence he escaped forthwith by
the simple device of cutting off the head of the man sent to fetter him,
and the good mare Swallow bore him back to Ely in safety.

A little later William came again to Ely and built a stronger bridge,
but this the English destroyed by fire, with many of the French on it,
setting the reeds aflame on the windward side of it.

Some other scheme must now be thought out, and the one that pleased
William most was to send to the monks a proclamation that, unless they
submitted within a week, all their lands and manors outside the island
would be confiscated. Furthermore, that if Hereward would submit he
should have his lands in Bourne, and a free pardon for himself and all
his comrades.

To which message Sir Ascelin and Ivo Taillebois, not being over desirous
of having Hereward as a neighbour, saw fit to add a clause exempting
Torfrida from the amnesty, but that she should be burnt on account of
her abominable and notorious sorceries.

When the proclamation arrived, Hereward was away foraging. He came back
in hot haste when he heard of it, but not fast enough; for ere they were
in sight of the minster tower they were aware of a horse galloping
violently towards them through the dusk, and on its back were Torfrida
and her daughter. The monks had surrendered the island rather than lose
their lands.

The French were already in Ely.

And now is Hereward to the greenwood gone, to be a bold outlaw, and the
father of all outlaws, who held those forests for two hundred years from
the Fens to the Scottish border, and with some four hundred men he
ranged up the Bruneswald, dashing out to the war cry of "A Wake! A
Wake!" and laying waste with fire and sword; that is, such towns as were
in the hands of Frenchmen.

Now, Hereward had been faithful to Torfrida, a virtue most rare in those
days, and he loved her with an overwhelming adoration--as all true men
love. And for that very reason he was the more aware that his feeling
for Alftruda was strangely like his feeling for Torfrida; and yet
strangely different. Wherefore, when it befell that once on a day there
came riding to Hereward in the Bruneswald a horseman who handed to him a
letter, the sight of Alftruda's signature at the end sent a strange
thrill through him. There was naught in it that he should not have
read--it was but to tell him that the French were upon him, the _posse
comitatus_ of seven counties were rising, and so forth. Continuing, the
letter told him that Dolfin had been slain on the Border, and William
and Gilbert of Ghent were going to marry her to Ascelin, and that,
having saved her twice, she feared that Hereward could not save her a
third time; concluding with an entreaty to submit to William, hinting
that an opportunity presented itself now which might never recur.

The messenger took back the answer. "Tell your lady that I kiss her
hands and feet; that I cannot write, for outlaws carry no pen or ink.
But that what she has commanded, that will I perform." Having showed the
letter to Torfrida, they agreed that it were well to take precautions,
and withdrew into the heart of the forest.

Alftruda's warning was both timely and true, for anon came Ivo
Taillebois, who had taken to wife Hereward's niece Lucia, and Abbot
Thorold, of Peterborough, who had an old score to wipe off in connection
with Hereward's last visit to his abbey, and Sir Ascelin, his nephew,
and many another. And they rode gaily through the greenwood, where
presently they found Hereward, to their sorrow, for of their number some
returned home only after payment of ransom, and others never returned at
all. And of the former were Abbot Thorold and Ascelin; and the ransom
that Hereward exacted for those two was thirty thousand silver marks.
Whereby Hereward was enabled to put a spoke in Ascelin's wheel.

"Eh? How, most courteous victor?" said Sir Ascelin.

"Sir Ascelin is not a very wealthy gentleman?"

Ascelin laughed assent.

"_Nudus intravi, nudus exeo_--England; and I fear now this mortal life
likewise."

"But he looked to his rich uncle the abbot to further a certain marriage
project of his. And, of course, neither my friend, Gilbert of Ghent, nor
my enemy, William of Normandy, are likely to give away so rich an
heiress without some gratification in return."


_IV.--The Last of the English_


Thereafter they lived for two years in the forest, and neither Torfrida
nor Hereward was the better for them. Hope deferred maketh the heart
sick, and a sick heart is but too apt to be a peevish one. So there were
fits of despondency, jars, mutual recriminations. Furthermore, that
first daughter was Torfrida's only child, and she knew almost as well as
he how hard that weighed on Hereward. In him the race of Leofric, of
Godiva, of Earl Oslac, would become extinct, and the girl would
marry--whom? Who but some French conqueror, or at best some English
outlaw? What wonder if he longed for a son to pass his name down to
future generations?

And one day Martin Lightfoot came with another letter to Hereward, which
he delivered to Torfrida, who learned from him that it came from
Alftruda. She bade him deliver it to Hereward, to whom it was addressed,
the which he did; but she noticed that this letter Hereward never
mentioned to her, as he had done the former.

A month later Martin came again.

"There is another letter come; it came last night," said he.

"What is that to thee or me? My lord has his state secrets. Is it for us
to pry into them? Go."

"I thought--I thought--"

"Go, I say!"

There was a noise of trampling horses outside. The men were arming and
saddling, and Hereward went with them, saying that he would be back in
three days.

After he had gone she found, close to where his armour had hung, a
letter from Alftruda. It congratulated Hereward on having shaken himself
free from the fascinations of "that sorceress." It said that all was
settled with King William; Hereward was to come to Winchester. She had
the king's writ for his safety ready to send to him; the king would
receive him as his liegeman. Alftruda would receive him as her husband.
Archbishop Lanfranc had made difficulties about the dissolution of his
marriage with Torfrida, but gold would do all things at Rome; and so
forth.

When this was read, after a night of frenzy, to Crowland Torfrida went
under the guidance of Martin, and laid her head upon the knees of the
Lady Godiva.

"I am come, as you always told me I should do. But it has been a long
way hither, and I am very tired."

And at Crowland remained Martin, donning a lay brother's frock that he
might the better serve his mistress. And to Crowland, after three days,
came Leofric, the renegade priest, who had been with Hereward in the
greenwood, and with him the child.

And so it came that when Hereward returned, as he had said, after three
days, he found neither wife nor child, and to Crowland he too went, but
came away even as he had gone. But with Torfrida he had no word, nor
with Godiva, for both refused him audience.

So Hereward went to Winchester, and with him forty of his knights, and
placed his hands between the hands of William, and swore to be his man.

And William walked out of the hall leaning on Hereward's shoulder, at
which all the Normans gnashed their teeth with envy.

And thereafter Hereward married Alftruda, after the scruples of Holy
Church had been duly set at rest.

Then Hereward lived again at Bourne, and tried to bring forgetfulness by
drink--and drink brought boastfulness; for that he had no more the
spirit left to do great deeds, he must needs babble of the great deeds
which he had done, and hurl insult and defiance at his Norman
neighbours. And in the space of three years he had become as intolerable
to those same neighbours as they were intolerable to him, and he was
fain to keep up at Bourne the same watch and ward that he had kept up in
the forest.

And Judith came to Bourne, and besought Alftruda to accompany her to
Crowland, where she would visit the tomb of Waltheof, her husband. And
Alftruda went with her, taking a goodly company of knights to be her
escort, while Hereward remained at Bourne with few to guard it.

And knowing this, to Bourne came Ascelin and Taillebois, Evermue, Raoul
de Dol, and many another Norman, and burst in upon Hereward in some such
fashion as he had done himself some ten years earlier. "Felons," he
shouted, "your king has given me his truce! Is this your French law? Is
this your French honour? Come on, traitors all, and get what you can of
a naked man; you will buy it dear. Guard my back, Winter!"

And with his constant comrade at his back, he dashed right at the press
of knights:

    And when his lance did break in hand
    Full fell enough he smote with brand.

And now he is all wounded, and Winter, who fought at his back, is fallen
on his face, and Hereward stands alone within a ring of eleven corpses.
A knight rushes in, to make a twelfth, cloven through the helm; but with
the blow Hereward's blade snaps short, and he hurls it away as his foes
rush in. With his shield he beat out the brains of two, but now
Taillebois and Evermue are behind him, and with four lances through his
back he falls, to rise no more.

So perished the last of the English.

       *       *       *       *       *




Hypatia


     In "Hypatia," published in 1853, after passing through
     "Fraser's Magazine," Kingsley turned from social problems in
     England to life in Egypt in the fifth century, taking the same
     pains to give the historical facts of the old dying Roman
     world as he did to describe contemporary events at home. The
     moral of "Hypatia," according to its author, is that "the sins
     of these old Egyptians are yours, their errors yours, their
     doom yours, their deliverance yours. There is nothing new
     under the sun."


_I.--The Laura_


In the 413th year of the Christian era, some 300 miles from Alexandria,
the young monk Philammon was sitting on the edge of a low range of
inland cliffs, crested with drifting sand. Behind him the desert sand
waste stretched, lifeless, interminable, reflecting its lurid blare on
the horizon of the cloudless vault of blue. Presently he rose and
wandered along the cliffs in search of fuel for the monastery from
whence he came, for Abbot Pambo's laura at Scetis.

It lay pleasantly enough, that lonely laura, or lane of rude Cyclopean
cells, under the perpetual shadow of the southern walls of crags, amid
its grove of ancient date-trees. And a simple, happy, gentle life was
that of the laura, all portioned out by rules and methods. Each man had
food and raiment, shelter on earth, friends and counsellors, living
trust in the continual care of Almighty God. Thither had they fled out
of cities, out of a rotten, dying world of tyrants and slaves,
hypocrites and wantons, to ponder undisturbed on duty and on judgment,
on death and eternity.

But to Philammon had come an insatiable craving to know the mysteries of
learning, to see the great roaring world of men. He felt he could stay
no longer, and on his return he poured out his speech to Abbot Pambo.

"Let me go! I am not discontented with you, but with myself. I knew that
obedience is noble, but danger is nobler still. If you have seen the
world, why should not I? Cyril and his clergy have not fled from it."

Abbot Pambo sought counsel with the good brother Aufugus, and then bade
Philammon follow him.

"And thou wouldst see the world, poor fool? Thou wouldst see the world?"
said the old man when the abbot had left them alone together.

"I would convert the world!"

"Thou must know it first. Here I sit, the poor unknown old monk, until I
die. And shall I tell thee what that world is like? I was Arsenius,
tutor of the emperor. There at Byzantium I saw the world which thou
wouldst see, and what I saw thou wilt see. Bishops kissing the feet of
parricides. Saints tearing saints in pieces for a word. Falsehood and
selfishness, spite and lust, confusion seven times confounded. And thou
wouldst go into the world from which I fled?"

"If the harvest be at hand, the Lord needs labourers. Send me, and let
that day find me where I long to be, in the forefront of the battle of
the Lord."

"The Lord's voice be obeyed. Thou shalt go. Here are letters to Cyril,
the patriarch. Thou goest of our free will as well as thine own. The
abbot and I have watched thee long, knowing that the Lord had need of
such as thee elsewhere. We did but prove thee, to see, by thy readiness
to obey, whether thou were fit to rule. Go, and God be with thee. Covet
no man's gold or silver. Neither eat flesh nor drink wine, but live as
thou hast lived--a Nazarite of the Lord. The papyrus boat lies at the
ferry; thou shalt descend in it. When thou hast gone five days' journey
downward, ask for the mouth of the canal of Alexandria. Once in the
city, any monk will guide thee to the archbishop. Send us news of thy
welfare by some holy mouth. Come."

Silently they paced together down the glen to the lonely beach of the
great stream. Pambo was there, and with slow and feeble arms he launched
the canoe. Philammon flung himself at the old men's feet, and besought
their blessing and their forgiveness.

"We have nothing to forgive. Follow thou thine inward call. If it be the
flesh, it will avenge itself; if it be of the Spirit, who are we that we
should fight against God? Farewell!"

A few minutes more, and the youth and his canoe were lessening down the
rapid stream in the golden summer twilight.


_II.--Hypatia, Queen of Paganism_


On his first morning in Alexandria, Philammon heard praises of Hypatia
from a fruit porter who showed him the way to the archbishop's house.
Hypatia, according to his guide, was the queen of Alexandria, a very
unique and wonderful person, the fountain of classic wisdom.

Later in the day, after he had presented himself to Archbishop Cyril,
Philammon learnt from an old priest, and from a fanatical monk named
Peter, that the very name of Hypatia was enough to rouse the clergy to a
fury of execration. It seemed that Orestes, the Roman governor of the
city, although nominally a Christian, was the curse of the Alexandrian
Church; and Orestes visited Hypatia, whose lectures on heathen
philosophy drew all the educated youth of the place.

Philammon's heart burned to distinguish himself at once. There were no
idols now to break, but there was philosophy.

"Why does not some man of God go boldly into the lecture-room of the
sorceress, and testify against her?" he asked.

"Do it yourself, if you dare," said Peter. "We have no wish to get our
brains knocked out by all the profligate young gentlemen in the city."

"I will do it," said Philammon.

The archbishop gave permission.

"Only promise me two things," he said. "Promise me that, whatever
happens, you will not strike the first blow, and that you will not argue
with her. Contradict, denounce, defy. But give no reasons. If you do you
are lost. She is subtler than the serpent, skilled in all the tricks of
logic, and you will became a laughing-stock, and run away in shame."

"Ay," said Peter, bitterly, as he ushered Philammon out. "Go up to
Ramoth Gilead and prosper, young fool! Ay, go, and let her convert you.
Touch the accursed thing, like Achan, and see if you do not end by
having it in your tent."

And with this encouraging sentence the two parted, and Philammon, on the
following morning, followed the train of philosophers, students, and
fine gentlemen to Hypatia's lecture-room.

Philammon listened to Hypatia in bewilderment, attracted by the beauty
of the speaker, the melody of her voice, and the glitter of her
rhetoric. As she discoursed on truth a sea of new thoughts and questions
came rushing in on his acute Greek intellect at every sentence. A
hostile allusion to the Christian Scriptures aroused him, and he cried
out, "It is false, blasphemous! The Scriptures cannot lie!"

There was a yell at this. "Turn the monk out!" "Throw the rustic through
the window!" cried a dozen young gentlemen. Several of the most valiant
began to scramble over the benches up to him, and Philammon was
congratulating himself on the near approach of a glorious martyrdom,
when Hypatia's voice, calm and silvery, stifled the noise and tumult in
a moment.

"Let the youth listen, gentlemen. He is but a monk and a plebeian, and
knows no better; he has been taught thus. Let him sit here quietly, and
perhaps we may be able to teach him otherwise."

And, without even a change of tone, she continued her lecture.

Philammon sprang up the moment that the spell of her voice was taken off
him, and hurried out through the corridor into the street. But he had
not gone fifty yards before his friend the fruit porter, breathless with
running, told him that Hypatia called for him. "Thereon, her father,
commands thee to be at her house--here--to-morrow at the third hour.
Hear and obey."

Cyril heard Philammon's story and Hypatia's message with a quiet smile,
and then dismissed the youth to an afternoon of labour in the city,
commanding him to come for his order in the evening.

But in the evening, Peter, already jealous of Cyril's interest in
Philammon, and enraged at any toleration being extended to Hypatia,
refused to let the youth enter the archbishop's house, and then struck
him full in the face. The blow was intolerable, and in an instant
Peter's long legs were sprawling on the pavement, while he bellowed like
a bull to all the monks that stood by, "Seize him! The traitor! The
heretic! He holds communion with heathens! And he was in Hypatia's
lecture-room this morning!"

A rush took place at the youth, but Philammon's blood was up. The ring
of monks were baying at him like hounds round a bear, and, against such
odds, the struggle would be desperate. He turned and forced his way to
the gate, amid a yell of derision which brought every drop of blood in
his body into his cheeks.

"Let me leave this court in safety! God knows whether I am a heretic;
and the archbishop shall know of your iniquity. I will not cross this
threshold again until Cyril himself sends for me to shame you!"

He strode on in his wrath some hundred yards or more before he asked
himself where he was going. Gradually one fixed idea began to glimmer
through the storm--to see Hypatia and convert her. He had Cyril's leave.
It must be right. That would justify him--to bring back, in the fetters
of the Gospel, the Queen of Heathendom. Yes, there was that left to live
for.


_III.--Pandemonium_


Philammon did not convert Hypatia, but he became her favourite pupil.
And Hypatia, dreaming that the worship of the old gods might be
restored, and her philosophy triumph over Christianity, received daily
visits from Orestes, the governor, and entered into his plans--to her
undoing.

For Orestes had an idea of becoming emperor, and of purchasing the
favour of the populace by a show of gladiators. To win Hypatia for
himself, he promised to restore the heathen games, and Hypatia, caring
nothing for Orestes, but always longing for the revival of the old
religion, promised, against her better judgment, to bear him company on
the day of the festival, and to sit by his side, and even to acclaim him
emperor.

The success of Orestes' plot depended on the success of a bigger
rebellion--the attempt of Heraclian, Count of Africa, to conquer Rome.
Heraclian had been defeated, and this was known to Cyril, but Orestes
was misled by false intelligence, and counted on Heraclian's victory for
his own triumph.

When the day of the spectacle arrived, to the horror and surprise of
Philammon, Hypatia herself sat by the side of the Roman prefect, while,
on the stage before them, a number of Libyan prisoners fought fiercely
for their lives, only to be butchered in the end by the professional
gladiators.

The sleeping devil in the hearts of the brutalised multitude burst forth
at the sight, and with jeers and applause the hired ruffians were urged
on to their work of blood.

Then a shameless exhibition of Venus followed, and Philammon could bear
no more. For Venus was his sister, long parted from him in childhood,
and only in the last few days had he learnt of his relationship to
Pelagia, the lady who had consented to act the part of the Goddess of
Love, and who was betrothed to Amal, the leader of the band of Goths. He
rushed down through the dense mass of spectators, leaped the balustrade
into the orchestra below, and tore across to the foot of the stage.

"Pelagia! Sister! My sister! Have mercy on me! On yourself! I will hide
you! Save you! We will flee together out of this infernal place! I am
your brother! Come!"

She looked at him one moment with wide, wild eyes. The truth flashed on
her. And she sprang from the platform into his arms, and then, covering
her face with both her hands, sank down among the bloodstained sand.

A yell ran along the vast circle. Philammon was hurried away by the
attendants, and Pelagia, her face still hidden by her hands, walked
slowly away and vanished among the palms at the back of the stage. A
cloud, whether of disgust or disappointment, now hung upon every brow,
and there was open murmuring at the cruelty and heathenry of the show.
Hypatia was utterly unnerved. Orestes alone rose to the crisis.

In a well-studied oration he declared that Heraclian the African was
conquerer of Rome, and a roar of hired applause supported him. Then the
prefect of the guards encouraged the city authorities to salute Orestes
as emperor, and Hypatia, amid shouts of her aristocratic scholars, rose
and knelt before him, writhing inwardly with shame and despair.

At the same moment a monk's voice shouted from the highest tiers in the
theatre, "It is false! False! You are tricked! Heraclian was utterly
routed; Cyril has known it, every Jew has known it, for a week past. So
perish all the enemies of the Lord, caught in their own snare!"

For a minute an awful silence fell on all who heard; and then arose a
tumult, which Orestes in vain attempted to subdue. The would-be emperor
summoned his guards around him and Hypatia, and made his way out as best
he could, while the multitude melted away like snow before the rain, to
find every church placarded by Cyril with the particulars of Heraclian's
ruin.

Two days later, when Hypatia went to give her farewell lecture to her
pupils--for all hope was dead--a mob of monks and their followers seized
her, dragged her into the church of the Caesareum, and there, before the
great, still figure of Christ, Peter struck her down, and the mob tore
her limb from limb.


_IV.--Back to the Desert_


Philammon had done his best, struggling in vain, to pierce the dense
mass of people, and save Hypatia. He had been wedged against a pillar,
unable to move, in the great church.

The little fruit porter, alone of all her disciples, fought his way
through the mob, only to be thrown down the steps.

When all was over in the church, and Hypatia was dead, and the mob had
rushed out, Philammon sank down exhausted outside, and the little porter
burst out into a bitter agony of human tears.

"She is with the gods," said the porter at last.

"She is with the God of gods," answered Philammon.

Then he felt that he must arise and flee for his life. He had gone forth
to see the world, and he had seen it. Arsenius was in the right after
all. Home to the desert. But first he would go himself, alone, and find
Pelagia, and implore her to flee with him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Abbot Pambo, as well as Arsenius, had been dead several years; the
abbot's place was filled, by his own dying command, by a hermit from the
neighbouring deserts, who had made himself famous for many miles round
by his extraordinary austerities, his ceaseless prayers, and his loving
wisdom.

While still in the prime of his manhood, he was dragged, against his own
entreaties, to preside over the laura of Scetis. The elder monks
considered it an indignity to be ruled by so young a man; but the
monastery throve and grew rapidly under his government. His sweetness,
patience, and humility, and, above all, his marvellous understanding of
the doubts and temptations of his own generation, soon drew around him
all whose sensitiveness or waywardness had made them unmanageable in the
neighbouring monasteries.

Never was the young Abbot Philammon heard to speak harshly of any human
being, and he stopped, by stern rebuke, any attempt to revile either
heretics or heathens.

One thing was noted, that there mingled always with his prayers the
names of two women. And when some worthy elder, taking courage from his
years, dared to hint kindly that this caused some scandal to the weaker
brethren, "It is true," answered he. "Tell my brethren that I pray
nightly for two women, both of them young, both of them beautiful; both
of them beloved by me more than I love my own soul; and tell them that
one of the two was an actress, and the other a heathen." The old monk
laid his hand on his mouth and retired.

The remainder of his history it seems better to extract from an
unpublished fragment of the lives of the saints.

"Now when the said abbot had ruled the monastery of Scetis seven years
with uncommon prudence, he called one morning to him a certain ancient
brother, and said: 'Make ready for me the divine elements, that I may
consecrate them, and partake thereof with all my brethren, ere I depart
hence. For know assuredly that within the seventh day, I shall migrate
to the celestial mansions.' And the abbot, having consecrated,
distributed among his brethren, reserving only a portion of the most
holy bread and wine; and then, having bestowed on them all the kiss of
peace, he took the paten and chalice in his hands, and went forth from
the monastery towards the desert; whom the whole fraternity followed
weeping. And having arrived at the foot of a certain mountain, he
stopped, and blessing them, dismissed them, and so ascending, was taken
away from their eyes.

"But the eldest brother sent two of the young men to seek their master,
who, meeting with a certain Moorish people, learnt that a priest,
bearing a paten and chalice, had passed before them a few days before,
crossing the desert in the direction of the cave of the holy Amma.

"And they inquiring who this Amma might be, the Moors answered that some
twenty years ago there had arrived in those mountains a woman more
beautiful than had ever before been seen in that region, who, after
distributing among them the rich jewels which she wore, had embraced the
hermit's life, and sojourned upon the highest peak of a neighbouring
mountain.

"Then the two brothers, determining to proceed, arrived upon the summit
of the said mountain.

"There in an open grave, guarded by two lions, lay the body of
Philammon, the abbot; and by his side, wrapped in his cloak, the corpse
of a woman of exceeding beauty, such as the Moors had described. And by
the grave-side stood the paten and the chalice, emptied of their divine
contents. Whereupon, filling in the grave with all haste, they returned
weeping to the laura.

"Now, before they returned, one of the brethren, searching the cave
wherein the holy woman dwelt, found nothing there, saving one bracelet
of gold, of large size and strange workmanship, engraven with foreign
characters, which no one could decipher.

"And it came to pass years afterwards that certain wandering barbarians
of the Vandalic race saw this bracelet in the laura of Scetis, and
pretended that it had belonged to a warrior of their tribe."

       *       *       *       *       *

So be it. Pelagia and Philammon, like the rest, went to their own place;
to the only place where such in such days could find rest; to the desert
and the hermit's cell.

Let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone, whether at
Hypatia or Pelagia, Cyril or Philammon.

       *       *       *       *       *




Two Years Ago


     Kingsley's "Two Years Ago" has been said by his son to be the
     only novel, pure and simple, that ever came from the pen of
     the famous writer, Published in 1857, it was begun two years
     earlier while staying at Bideford. At this time Kingsley was
     deeply interested in the Crimean War, and many thousands of
     copies of his pamphlet, "Brave Words to Brave Soldiers," were
     distributed to the army. His military tastes no doubt go a
     long way towards explaining his doctrine in "Two Years Ago"
     that the war was to exercise a great regenerating influence in
     English life. Although the story is in many respects weaker
     than its predecessors, it nevertheless abounds in brilliant
     and vivid word-paintings, the descriptions of North Devon
     scenery being probably unsurpassed in English prose.


_I.--Tom Thurnall's Wanderings_


To tell my story I must go back sixteen years to the days when the
pleasant old town of Whitbury boasted of forty coaches a day, instead of
one railway, and set forth how there stood two pleasant houses side by
side in its southern suburb.

In one of these two houses lived Mark Armsworth, banker, solicitor, land
agent, and justice of the peace. In the other lived Edward Thurnall,
esquire, doctor of medicine, and consulting physician of all the
countryside. These two men were as brothers, both were honest and
kind-hearted men.

Dr. Thurnall was sitting in his study, settled to his microscope, one
beautiful October morning, and his son Tom stood gazing out of the bay
window.

Tom, who had been brought up in his father's profession, was of that
bull-terrier type so common in England; sturdy, middle-sized,
deep-chested, broad-shouldered, his face full of shrewdness and good
nature, and of humour withal. It was his last day at home; tomorrow he
was leaving for Paris.

Presently Mark Armsworth came in, and Tom was seen cantering about the
garden with a weakly child of eight in his arms.

"Mark, the boy's heart cannot be in the wrong place while he is so fond
of little children."

"If she grows up, doctor, and don't go to join her poor dear mother up
there, I don't know that I'd wish her a better husband than your boy."

"It would be a poor enough match for her."

"Tut! She'll have the money, and he the brains. Doctor, that boy'll be a
credit to you; he'll make a noise in the world, or I know nothing. And
if his fancy holds seven years hence, and he wants still to turn
traveller, let him. If he's minded to go round the world, I'll back him
to go, somehow, or I'll eat my head, Ned Thurnall!"

So Tom carried Mary about all the morning, and next day went to Paris,
and soon became the best pistol shot and billiard-player in the Quartier
Latin. Then he went to St. Mumpsimus's Hospital in London, and became
the best boxer therein, and captain of the eight-oar, besides winning
prizes and certificates without end, and becoming in time the most
popular house-surgeon in the hospital; but nothing could keep him
permanently at home. Settle down in a country practice he would not.
Cost his father a farthing he would not. So he started forth into the
wide world with nothing but his wits and his science, an anatomical
professor to a new college in some South American republic.
Unfortunately, when he got there, he found that the annual revolution
had just taken place, and that the party who had founded the college had
all been shot. Whereat he whistled, and started off again, no man knew
whither.

"Having got round half the world, daddy," he wrote home, "it's hard if I
don't get round the other half."

With which he vanished into infinite space, and was only heard of by
occasional letters dated from the Rocky Mountains, the Spanish West
Indies, Otaheite, Singapore, the Falkland Islands, and all manner of
unexpected places, sending home valuable notes, zoological and
botanical.

At last when full four years were passed and gone since Tom started for
South America, he descended from the box of the day-mail at Whitbury,
with a serene and healthful countenance, shouldered his carpet-bag, and
started for his father's house.

He walked in, and hung up his hat in the hall, just as if he had come in
from a walk. Not finding the old man, he went into Mark Armsworth's,
frightening out of her wits a pale, ugly girl of seventeen, whom he
discovered to be his old playfellow, Mary. However, she soon recovered
her equanimity, and longed to throw her arms round his neck as of old,
and was only restrained by the thought that she was grown a great girl
now. She called her father, and all the household, and after a while the
old doctor came home, and the fatted calf was killed, and all made merry
over the return of this altogether unrepentant prodigal son.

Tom Thurnall stayed a month at home, and then went to America, whence he
wrote home in about six months. Then came a long silence, and then a
letter from California; and then letters more regularly from Australia.
Sickened with California life, he had crossed the Pacific once more, and
was hard at work in the diggings, doctoring and gold-finding by turns.

"A rolling stone gathers no moss," said his father.

"He has the pluck of a hound, and the cunning of a fox," said Mark, "and
he'll be a credit to you yet."

So the years slipped on till the autumn of 1853. And then Tom, at the
diggings at Ballarat, got a letter from Mary Armsworth.

"Your father is quite well in health, but his eyes have grown much
worse, and the doctors are afraid that he has little chance of
recovering the sight, at least of the left eye. And something has
happened to the railroad in which he had invested so much, and he has
given up the old house. He wants you to come home; but my father has
entreated him to let you stay. You know, while we are here, he is safe."

Tom walked away slowly into the forest. He felt that the crisis of his
life was come.

"I'll stay here and work," he said to himself finally, "till I make a
hit or luck runs dry, and then home and settle; and, meanwhile, I'll go
down to Melbourne tomorrow, and send the dear old dad two hundred
pounds."

And there sprang up in him at once the intensest yearning after his
father and the haunts of his boyhood, and the wildest dread that he
should never see them.


_II.--The Wreck_


Half the village of Aberalva is collected on the long sloping point of a
cliff. Sailors wrapped in pilot-cloth, oil-skinned coast guardsmen,
women with their gowns turned over their heads, while every moment some
fresh comer stumbles down the slope and asks, "Where's the wreck?" A
shift of wind, a drift of cloud, and the moon flashes out a moment.

"There she is, sir," says Brown, the head-boatman to the coastguard
lieutenant.

Some three hundred yards out at sea lies a long, curved, black line,
amid the white, wild leaping hills of water. A murmur from the crowd.

"A Liverpool clipper, by the lines of her."

"God help the poor passengers, then!" sobs a woman. "They're past our
help."

A quarter of an hour passes.

"God have mercy!" shouts Brown. "She's going!"

The black curve coils up, and then all melts away into the white
seething waste.

The coastguard lieutenant settles down in his macintoshes, knowing that
his duty is not to leave as long as there is a chance of saving--not a
life, for that was past all hope, but a chest of clothes or a stick of
timber.

And with the coastguardsmen many sailors stayed. Old Captain Willis
stays because Grace Harvey, the village schoolmistress, is there,
sitting upon a flat slope of rock, a little apart from the rest, with
her face resting on her hands, gazing intently out into the wild waste.

"She's not one of us," says old Willis. "There's no saying what's going
on there in her. Maybe she's praying; maybe she sees more than we do,
over the sea there."

"Look at her now! What's she after?" Brown replies.

The girl had raised her head, and was pointing toward the sea. Then she
sprang to her feet with a scream.

"A man! A man! Save him!"

As she spoke a huge wave rolled in, and out of it struggled, on hands
and knees, a human figure. He looked wildly up and around, and lay
clinging with outstretched arms over the edge of the rock.

"Save him!" she shrieked again, as twenty men rushed forward--and
stopped short. The man was fully thirty yards from them, but between
them and him stretched a long, ghastly crack, some ten feet wide, with
seething cauldrons within.

Ere they could nerve themselves for action, the wave had come,
half-burying the wretched mariner, and tearing across the chasm.

The schoolmistress took one long look, and as the wave retired, rushed
after it to the very brink of the chasm, and flung herself on her knees.

"The wave has carried him across the crack, and she's got him!" screamed
old Willis. And he sprang upon her, and caught her round the waist.

"Now, if you be men!" shouted he, as the rest hurried down.

"Now, if you be men; before the next wave comes!" shouted big Jan, the
fisherman. "Hands together, and make a line!" And he took a grip with
one hand of the old man's waistband, and held out the other for who
would to seize.

Strong hand after hand was clasped, and strong knee after knee dropped
almost to the rock, to meet the coming rush of water.

It came, and surged over the man and the girl, and up to old Willis's
throat, and round the knees of Jan and his neighbour; and then followed
the returning out-draught, and every limb quivered under the strain; but
when the cataract had disappeared, the chain was still unbroken.

"Saved!" and a cheer broke from all lips save those of the girl
herself--she was as senseless as he whom she had saved.

Gently they lifted each, and laid them on the rock; and presently the
schoolmistress was safe in bed at her mother's house. And the man, weak,
but alive, had been carried triumphantly up to the door of Dr. Heale,
which having been kicked open, the sailors insisted on carrying him
right upstairs, and depositing him on the best spare bed, saying, "If
you won't come to your patients, doctor, your patients shall come to
you."

The man grumbled when he awoke next morning at being thrown ashore with
nothing in the world but an old jersey and a bag of tobacco, two hundred
miles short of the port where he hoped to land with L1,500 in his
pocket.

To Dr. Heale, and to the Rev. Frank Headley, the curate, who called upon
him, he mentioned that his name was Tom Thurnall, F.R.C.S.

Later in the day Tom met the coastguard lieutenant and old Captain
Willis on the shore, and the latter introduced him to "Miss Harvey, the
young person who saved your life last night."

Tom was struck by the beauty of the girl at once, but after thanking
her, said gently, "I wish to tell you something which I do not want
publicly talked of, but in which you may help me. I had nearly L1,500
about me when I came ashore last night, sewed in a belt round my waist.
It is gone."

Grace turned pale, and her lips quivered. She turned to her mother and
Captain Willis.

"Belt! Mother! Uncle! What is this? The gentleman has lost a belt!"

"Dear me! A belt! Well, child, that's not much to grieve over, when the
Lord has spared his life," said her mother, somewhat testily.

Grace declared the money should be found, and Tom vowed to himself he
would stay in that little Cornish village of Aberalva until he had
recovered it.

So after writing to some old friends at St. Mumpsimus's Hospital to send
him down some new drugs, and to his father, he settled down as Dr.
Heale's assistant; and Dr. Heale being addicted to brandy and water,
there was plenty of room for assistance.


_III.--The Cholera_


Tom Thurnall had made up his mind in June 1854, that the cholera ought
to visit Aberalva in the course of the summer, and, of course, tried his
best to persuade people to get ready for their ugly visitor; but in
vain. The collective ignorance, pride, laziness, and superstition of the
little town showed a terrible front to the newcomer.

"Does he think we was all fools afore he came here?"

That was the rallying cry of the enemy, and sanitary reform was thrust
out of sight.

But Lord Minchampstead, who owned the neighbouring estates of
Pentremochyn, on Mark Armsworth's advice, got Tom to make a report on
the sanitary state of his cottages, and then acted on the information.

Frank Headley backed up Tom in his sanitary crusade, the coastguard
lieutenant proved an unexpected ally, and Grace Harvey promised that she
would do all she could.

Tom wrote up to London and detailed the condition of the place to the
General Board of Health, and the Board returned, for answer, that, as
soon as cholera broke out in Aberalva, they would send down an
inspector.

Then in August it came, and Tom Beer, the fisherman, and one of the
finest fellows in the town, was dead after two hours' illness.

Up and down the town the foul fiend sported, now here, now there,
fleshing his teeth on every kind of prey. He has taken old Beer's second
son, and now clutches at the old man himself; then across the street to
Jan Beer, his eldest; but he is driven out from both houses by chloride
of lime, and the colony of the Beers has peace awhile. The drunken
cobbler dies, of course; but spotless cleanliness and sobriety do not
save the mother of seven children, who has been soaking her brick floor
daily with water from a poisoned well, defiling where she meant to
clean. Youth does not save the buxom lass who has been filling herself
with unripe fruit.

And yet sots and fools escape where wise men fall; weakly women, living
amid all wretchedness, nurse, unharmed, strong men who have breathed
fresh air all day.

Headley and Grace and old Willis, and last, but not least, Tom Thurnall,
these and three or four brave women, organised themselves into a band,
and commenced at once a visitation from house to house, saving thereby
many a life. But within eight-and-forty hours it was as much as they
could do to attend to the acute cases.

Grace often longed to die, but knew that she should not die till she had
found Tom's belt, and was content to wait.

Tom just thought nothing about death and danger at all, but, always
cheerful, always busy, yet never in a hurry, went up and down, seemingly
ubiquitous. Sleep he got when he could, and food as often as he could;
into the sea he leapt, morning and night, and came out fresher every
time; the only person in the town who seemed to grow healthier, and
actually happier, as the work went on, in that fearful week.

The battle is over at last, and Tom is in London at the end of
September, ready to go to war as medical officer to the Turks. The news
of Alma has just arrived.

But he pays a visit to Whitbury first, and there Lord Minchampstead sees
him, and his lordship expresses satisfaction at the way Tom conducted
the business at Pentremochyn, and offers him a post of queen's messenger
in the Crimea, which Tom accepts with profuse thanks.

Before Tom left for the East old Mark Armsworth took him aside, and
said, "What do you think of the man who marries my daughter?"

"I should think," quoth Tom, wondering who the happy man could be, "that
he would be lucky in possessing such a heart."

"Then be as good as your word, and take her yourself. I've watched you,
and you'll make her a good husband."

Tom was too astonished and puzzled to reply. He had never thought that
he had found such favour in his old playfellow Mary Armsworth's eyes.

It was a terrible temptation. He knew the plain English of L50,000, and
Mark Armsworth's daughter, a good house, a good consulting practice,
and, above all, his father to live with him.

And then rose up before his imagination the steadfast eyes of Grace
Harvey, and seemed to look through and through his inmost soul, as
through a home which belonged of right to her, and where no other woman
must dwell, or could dwell; for she was there and he knew it; and knew
that, even if he never married till his dying day, he should sell his
soul by marrying anyone but her.

So Tom told old Mark it was impossible, because he was in love with
another woman. And then just as he was packing up next morning came a
note from Mark Armsworth and a cheque for L500, "To Thomas Thurnall,
Esq., for behaving like a gentleman." And Tom went Eastward Ho!--two
years ago.


_IV.--Christmas Eve_


It was in September, after Tom had left, that Grace found the missing
belt. Her mother had hidden it in a cave on the shore, and Grace,
following her there, came upon the hiding-place. The shock of detection
brought out the disease against which Mrs. Harvey had taken so many
precautions, and within two days the unhappy woman was dead.

Grace sold all her mother's effects, paid off all creditors, and with a
few pounds left, vanished from Aberalva. She had written at once to Tom
at Whitbury, telling him that his belt and money were safe, but had
received no answer; and now she went to Whitbury herself, only to arrive
a week after Tom had gone. Mark Armsworth and Mary kept her for a night,
and she left Tom's money with the old banker, retaining the belt and
then set out Eastward Ho! too, to nurse the wounded in the war; and, if
possible, to find Tom and clear her name of all suspicion.

How Grace Harvey worked at Scutari and at Balaclava, there is no need to
tell. Why mark her out from the rest, when all did more than nobly? In
due time she went home to England--home, but not to Aberalva.

She presented herself one day at Mark Armsworth's house in Whitbury, and
begged him to obtain her a place as servant to old Dr. Thurnall. And by
the help of Mark, and Mary, Grace Harvey took up her abode in the old
man's house; and ere a month was past she was to him a daughter.

Mary loved her--wanted to call her sister; but Grace drew back lovingly,
but humbly, from all advances; for she had divined Mary's secret with
the quick eye of a woman. She saw how Mary grew daily paler, sadder. Be
it so; Mary had a right to him, and she had none.

       *       *       *       *       *

And where was Tom Thurnall all the while? No man could tell.

Mark inquired; Lord Minchampstead inquired; great personages inquired;
but all in vain. A few knew, and told Lord Minchampstead, who told Mark,
in confidence, that he had been heard of last in the Circassian
Mountains about Christmas 1854; but since then all was blank.

The old man never seemed to regret him; and never mentioned his name
after a while. None knew it was because he and Grace never talked of
anything else. So they had lived, and so they had waited.

And now it is the blessed Christmas Eve; the light is failing fast; when
down the High Street comes Mark's portly bulk. The next minute he has
entered the old doctor's house, and is full of the afternoon's run, for
he has been out fox-hunting.

The old doctor is confident to-day that his son will return, and Grace
reassures him.

"Yes, he is coming soon to us," she half whispers, leaning over the old
man's chair. "Or else we are soon going to him. It may mean that, sir.
Perhaps it is better that it should."

"It matters little, child, if he be near, as near he is."

And sure enough while Mark is telling of the good run he has had, Tom's
fresh voice is heard. Yes! There he was in bodily flesh and blood; thin,
sallow, bearded to the eyes, dressed in ragged sailor's clothes.

Grace uttered a long, soft, half laughing cry, full of the delicious
agony of sudden relief; and then slipped from the room past the
unheeding Tom, who had no eyes but for his father. Straight up to the
old man he went, took both his hands, and spoke in the old, cheerful
voice.

"Well, my dear old daddy! I'm afraid I've made you very anxious; but it
was not my fault; and I knew you would be certain I should come at last,
eh?"

"My son! my son!" murmured the old man. "You won't go away again, dear
boy? I'm getting old and forgetful; and I don't think I could bear it
again, you see."

"Never again, as long as I live, daddy."

Mark Armsworth burst out blubbering like a great boy.

"I said so! I always said so! The devil could not kill him and God
wouldn't."

"Tom," said his father presently, "you have not spoken to Grace yet. She
is my daughter now, Tom, and has been these twelve months past."

"If she is not, she will be soon," said Tom, quietly. With that he
walked straight out of the room to find Grace in the passage.

And Grace lay silent in his arms.

       *       *       *       *       *




Water-Babies


     Charles Kingsley wrote "The Water-Babies, a Fairy Tale for a
     Land-Baby," under romantic circumstances. Reminded in 1862 of
     a promise he had made that "Rose, Maurice, and Mary have got
     their books, the baby must have his," Kingsley produced the
     story about little Tom, which forms the first chapter in "The
     Water-Babies," a fairy tale occupying a nook of its own in the
     literature of fantasy for children. After running serially
     through "Macmillan's Magazine," the "Water-Babies" was
     published in book form in 1863, dedicated "To my youngest son,
     and to all other good little boys." Mrs. Kingsley, in the life
     of her husband says "that it was perhaps the last book that he
     wrote with any real ease." The story, with its irresponsible
     and whimsical humour, throws an altogether delightful light
     upon the character of Charles Kingsley--clergyman, lecturer,
     historian, and social reformer.


_I.--"I Must be Clean!"_


Once upon a time there was a little chimney-sweep, and his name was Tom.
He lived in a great town in the North Country where there were plenty of
chimneys to sweep and plenty of money for Tom to earn, and his drunken
master to spend. He could not read nor write, and did not care to do
either; and he never washed himself, for there was no water up the court
where he lived. Chimney-sweeping and hunger and beatings, he took all
for the way of the world, and when his master let him have a pull at the
leavings of his beer Tom was the jolliest boy in the whole town.

One day, Tom's master, Mr. Grimes, was sent for to sweep all the
chimneys at Sir John Harthover's mansion, Harthover Place.

At four in the morning they passed through the silent town together and
along the peaceful country roads to Sir John's, Mr. Grimes riding the
donkey in front and Tom and the brushes walking behind. On the way they
came up with an old Irishwoman, limping slowly along and carrying a
heavy bundle. She walked along with Tom and asked him many questions
about himself, and seemed very sad when he told her that he knew no
prayers to say. She told him that she lived far away by the sea; and,
how the sea rolled and roared on winter nights and lay still in the
bright summer days, for the children to bathe and play in it; and many a
story more till Tom longed to go and see the sea and bathe in it
likewise.

When, at length, they came to a spring, Grimes got off his donkey, to
refresh himself by dipping his head in the water. Because Tom followed
his example, his master immediately thrashed him.

"Are you not ashamed of yourself, Thomas Grimes?" said the Irishwoman.

Grimes looked up, startled at her knowing his name; but he answered:
"No, nor never was yet," and went on beating Tom.

"True for you. If you ever had been ashamed of yourself, you would have
gone into Vendale long ago."

"What do you know about Vendale?" shouted Grimes; but he left off
beating Tom.

"I know about Vendale and about you, too, and if you strike that boy
again I can tell you what I know."

Grimes seemed quite cowed and got on his donkey without another word.

"Stop!" said the Irishwoman. "I have one more word for you both, for you
will see me again. Those that wish to be clean, clean they will be; and
those that wish to be foul, foul they will be. Remember."

She turned away into a meadow and disappeared. And Tom and Grimes went
on their way. When they came to Harthover Place, the housekeeper turned
them into a grand room all covered up in sheets of brown paper. Up the
chimney went Tom with a kick from his master.

How many chimneys Tom swept I cannot say; but he swept so many that he
got tired, and puzzled too, for they ran into one another so that he
fairly lost his way in them. At last he came down. But it was the wrong
chimney, and he found himself in a room the like of which he had never
seen before. The room was all dressed in white: white window-curtains,
white bed-curtains, white furniture, and white walls. There was a
washhand-stand, with ewers and basins, and soap and brushes and towels;
and a large bath full of clean water. What a heap of things--all for
washing!

And then he happened to look towards the bed, and there lay the most
beautiful little girl Tom had ever seen. He wondered whether all people
were as white as she when they were washed. Thinking of this, he tried
to rub some of the soot from his own wrist, and thought, perhaps, he
might look better himself if he were clean.

And looking round, he suddenly saw a little ugly black figure with
bleared eyes and grinning teeth. And behold, it was himself reflected in
the mirror. With tears of shame and anger at the contrast he turned to
sneak up the chimney and hide. But in his haste he upset the fire-irons.

Up jumped the little white lady with a scream; in rushed her nurse and
made a dash at Tom. But out of the window went he and down a tree and
away through the garden and the park into the wood beyond, with the
gardener, the groom, the dairymaid, Grimes, the steward, the keeper, Sir
John, and the Irishwoman all in hot pursuit.

Through the wood rushed Tom until he came to a wall, where his quick
wits enabled him to evade his pursuers--except the Irishwoman, who
followed him all the way, although he never knew.

At length he stood on a limestone rock which overhung a valley a
thousand feet below, and down there he could see a little stream winding
in and out, and by the stream a cottage. It was a dangerous descent, but
down went Tom without a moment's hesitation; sick and giddy, on he went
until at last he dropped on the grass and lay there unconscious. But
after a time he roused himself and stumbled on to the cottage.

The old dame of the cottage took pity on him and laid him on a bed of
sweet hay. But Tom could not rest, and think of the little white lady,
he found his way to the river murmuring. "I must be clean! I must be
clean!"

And still he had not seen the Irishwoman; in front of him now, for she
had stepped into the river just before Tom, and had changed into the
most beautiful of fairies underneath the water. For she was, indeed, the
Queen of the Water-Fairies, who were all waiting to receive her the
moment she came back from the land-world.

Tom was so hot and longed so to be clean for once that he tumbled as
quick as he could into the cool stream. And he had not been in it half a
minute before he fell into the quietest, coolest sleep that ever he had
in his life. The reason of his falling into such a delightful sleep is
very simple. It was merely that the fairies took him. In fact, they
turned him into a water-baby.

Meanwhile, of course, the chase after Tom had come to an end, although
Sir John and his keepers made a second search the next day, for he felt
sorry for the little sweep, and was afraid he might have fallen over
some of the crags. They found the little fellow's rags by the side of
the stream, and they also discovered his body in the water, and buried
it over in Vendale churchyard.


_II.--A Lonely, Mischievous Water-Baby_


Tom was very happy swimming about in the river, although he was now only
about four inches long, with a set of external gills, just like those of
an eft. There are land-babies, and why not water-babies? Some people
tell us that water-babies are contrary to nature, but there are so many
things in nature which we don't expect to find that there may as well be
water-babies as not.

He was still as mischievous as any land-baby, and made himself a perfect
nuisance to the other creatures of the water, teasing them as they went
about their work, until they were all afraid of him, and got out of his
way, or crept into their shells; so that he had no one to speak to or to
play with.

It was from a dragon-fly that he learned some valuable lessons in good
conduct. For all his short sight the dragon-fly had noticed a great many
interesting things in nature, about which Tom knew nothing, and of which
he heard with wonder. One day he might have been eaten by an otter; but,
behold, seven little terrier dogs rushed at the otter, and drove her
off, much to Tom's relief, though he did not guess that these were
really water-fairies sent to protect him.

But before the otter had been headed off she had twitted Tom with being
only an eft, and told him he would be eaten by the salmon when they came
up from the sea--the great wide sea. Tom himself decided he would go
down the stream, and discover what the great wide sea was like.

One night Tom noticed a curious light, and heard voices of men coming
from the bank of the river.

Soon after a large salmon was speared. Then other men seemed to arrive;
there were shouts and scufflings; and then a tremendous splash, and one
of the men fell into the river close to Tom. He lay so still that Tom
thought the water must have sent him to sleep as it had done him; so he
screwed up courage to go and look at him. The moonlight lit up the man's
face, and Tom recognised his old master, Grimes. Suppose he should turn
into a water-baby! But he lay quite still at the bottom of the pool, and
never went poaching salmon any more.

Every creature in the stream seemed to be hurrying down to the sea, and
Tom, being the only water-baby among all the squirming eels and the
scores of different things, big and little, he had many strange
adventures before he came to the sea. But great was his disappointment
to find no water-babies there to play with, though he asked the
sea-snails, and the hermit crabs, and the sun-fish, and the bass, and
the porpoises. But though one fish told him that he had been helped the
previous night by the water-babies, Tom could find no trace of them at
all.

Now, one day it befell that on the rocks where Tom was sitting with a
lobster there walked the little lady, Ellie, herself, and with her a
very wise man, Professor Pttmllnsprts, who was a very great naturalist.
He was showing her about one in ten thousand of all the beautiful and
curious things that are to be seen among the rocks. Presently, as he
groped with his net among the weeds he caught poor Tom.

"Dear me!" he cried, "what a large pink Holothurian. It has actually
eyes. Why, it must be a Cephalopod!"

"It is a water-baby," cried Ellie.

"Water-fiddlesticks, my dear!" said the professor sharply.

Now, Tom was in a most horrible fright, and between fright and rage he
turned to bay and bit the professor's finger.

"Oh! Eh!" cried he, and dropped Tom on to the seaweed, whence he was
gone in a moment.

"But it was a water-baby!" cried Ellie. "Ah, it is gone!" And she jumped
down off the rock. But she slipped and fell with her head on a sharp
rock, and lay quite still.

The professor picked her up and took her home, and she was put to bed.
But she would not waken at all, and after a week, one moonlight night
the fairies came flying in at the window, and brought her a pair of
wings. And she flew away, and nobody heard or saw anything of her for a
long while.


_III.--In St. Brandon's Fairy Isle_


After Tom slipped away into the water again, he could not help thinking
of Ellie, and longed to have her to play with, for he had not succeeded
in finding any other water-babies. But soon he had something else to
think of. One day he helped a lobster caught in a lobster-pot to get
free; and then, five minutes after, he came upon a real live water-baby,
sitting on the white sand.

And it ran to Tom, and Tom ran to it, and they hugged and kissed each
other for ever so long. At last Tom said. "Well, this is wonderful! I
have seen things just like you again and again, but I thought you were
shells or sea-creatures."

Now, was not this very odd? So odd, indeed, that you will, no doubt,
want to know how it happened, and why Tom could never find a water-baby
till after he had got the lobster out of the pot. But if you will read
this story nine times over, you will find out why. It is not good for
little boys and girls to be told everything and never to be forced to
make use of their own wits.

"Now," said the baby, "come and help me plant this rock which got all
its flowers knocked off in the last storm, or I shall not have finished
before my brothers and sisters come, and it is now time to go home."

So they worked away at the rock, and planted it, and smoothed the sand
down round it, and capital fun they had till the tide began to turn. And
then Tom heard all the other babies coming, laughing and singing and
romping; and the noise they made was just like the noise of a ripple.

And in they came, dozens and dozens of them, and when they found that he
was a new baby, they hugged and kissed him. And there was no one ever so
happy as poor little Tom, and he gaily swam away with them to their home
in the caves beneath St. Brandan's fairy isle. But I wish Tom had given
up all his naughty tricks. He would meddle with the creatures, frighten
the crabs, and put stones in the anemones' mouths to make them fancy
dinner was coming.

The other children warned him, and said, "Take care what you are at, as
Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid is coming on Friday."

Early one Friday morning this tremendous lady came, indeed. Very ugly
Tom thought her, with her green spectacles on a great hooked nose and a
big birch rod under her arm. She looked at all the children, and seemed
pleased with them, for she gave sea-cakes or sea-lollipops to them all.

At last Tom's turn came, and she put something in his mouth, and lo! and
behold, it was a cold, hard pebble.

"Who put pebbles in the sea-anemones' mouths to make them fancy they had
caught a good dinner? As you did to them, so I must do to you."

Tom thought her very hard, but she showed him she had to do it because
it was her work. She told him, too, that she was the ugliest fairy in
the world, and would be until people learned to behave as they should,
when she would grow as handsome as her sister, Mrs.
Doasyouwouldbedoneby, the loveliest fairy in the world.

Tom tried hard to be good on Saturday; he did not frighten one crab, nor
put one pebble into a sea-anemone's mouth.

Sunday came, and so did Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby. All the children
danced round her, for she had the sweetest, merriest face Tom had ever
seen.

"He's the new water-baby," they informed the fairy. "He never had any
mother."

"Then I will be his mother," she said, and took him in her arms. And Tom
looked up in her face, and loved her, and fell asleep for very love.
When he awoke she was telling the children a story.

"Now," she said to Tom, as she prepared to go, "will you be good, and
torment no sea-beasts until I come again?"

Tom promised, and tormented no sea-beasts after that as long as he
lived; and he is quite alive, I assure you, still.


_IV.--At the Other-End-of-Nowhere_


Being happy and comfortable does not always mean being good; and so it
was with Tom. He had everything he could wish for in St. Brandan's fairy
isle. But now he had grown so fond of lollipops that he could think of
nothing else, and longed to go to the cabinet where they were kept. At
last he went to take just one; then he had one more, and another, and
another, until they were all gone. And all the while Mrs.
Bedonebyasyoudid stood close behind him, though he neither heard nor saw
her.

Tom was very surprised when she came again to see that she had just as
many lollipops as before. He thought therefore that she could not know.

But he was very unhappy all that week, and long after it, too. And
because his conscience had been pricking him inside, his outside grew
horny and prickly as well, until he could bear it no longer, and told
Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid all about it, and asked her to take away the
prickles. But she told him only he could do that, that he must go to
school, and she would fetch him a schoolmistress.

Soon she returned with the most beautiful little girl that was ever
seen. Tom begged her to show him how to be good, and get rid of his
prickles. So she began, and taught him every day except on Sunday, when
she went away. In a short time all Tom's prickles had disappeared. Then
the little girl knew him, she said, for the little chimney-sweep who had
come into the bedroom.

"And I know you," said Tom; "you are the little white lady I saw in
bed." And then they began telling each other all their story. And then
they set to work at their lessons again, and both liked them so well
that they went on till seven full years were past and gone.

Tom began to be very curious to know where Ellie went on Sundays, and
why he could not go, too.

"Those who go there," said Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid, "must first learn to
go where they do not want to go, and to help someone they do not like."

And Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby said the same. Tom was very unhappy now.
He knew the fairy wanted him to go and help Grimes; he did not want to
go, and was ashamed of himself for not going. But just when he was
feeling most discontented Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid encouraged him until he
was quite anxious to seek for Grimes.

"Mr. Grimes is now at the Other-end-of-Nowhere," said the fairy. "To get
there you must go to Shiny Wall, and through the White Gate which has
never yet been opened. You will then be at Peacepool, where you will
find Mother Carey, who will direct you to the Other-end-of-Nowhere."

Tom immediately set out to find his way to Shiny Wall, asking the way of
all the birds and beasts he met. He at length received help from the
petrels, who are Mother Carey's chickens, and so reached Shiny Wall. He
was dismayed to find that there was no gate, but taking the birds'
advice, he dived underneath the wall, and went along the bottom of the
sea for seven days and seven nights, until he arrived in Peacepool.
There sat Mother Carey, a marble lady on a marble throne--motionless,
restful, gazing down into the depths of the sea.

Following Mother Carey's directions, Tom at length arrived at the
Other-end-of-Nowhere, after meeting with many strange adventures. He had
not long arrived in this strange land when he was overtaken by several
policemen's truncheons, one of which conducted him to the prison where
Grimes was quartered. Here, on the roof, his head and shoulders just
showing above the top of chimney No. 343, was poor Mr. Grimes, with a
pipe that would not draw.

He thought Tom had simply come to laugh at him until he assured him that
he had only come to help. Suddenly Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid appeared. She
reminded Grimes that he was only suffering now what he had inflicted on
Tom. She told him, too, how his mother had gone to heaven, and would no
more weep for him. Gradually Grimes's heart softened, and when Tom
described her kindness to him at Vendale, Grimes wept. Then his tears
did for him what his mother's could not do, for as they fell they washed
the soot off his face and his clothes, and loosened the mortar from the
bricks of the chimney.

"Will you obey me if I give you a chance?" said Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid.

"As you please, ma'am. For I'm beat, and that's the truth," said he.

"Be it so, then--you may come out. But remember, disobey me again, and
into a worse place still you will go."

"I beg your pardon, ma'am, but I never disobeyed you that I know of. I
never set eyes upon you until I came to these ugly quarters."

"Never saw me? Who said 'Those that will be foul, foul they will be'?"

Grimes looked up, and Tom looked up, too; for the voice was that of the
Irishwoman who met them the day they went out together to Harthover. She
ordered Grimes to march off in the custody of the truncheon, who was to
see that he devoted himself to the considerable task of sweeping out the
crater of Etna.

Tom went back to St. Brandan's Isle, and there found Ellie--grown into a
beautiful woman. And he looked at her, and she looked at him; and they
liked the employment so much that they stood and looked for seven years
more, and neither spoke nor stirred.

At last they heard the fairy say, "Attention, children! Are you never
going to look at me again?"

They looked, and both of them cried out at once: "You are our dear Mrs.
Doasyouwouldbedoneby! No, you are good Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid; but you
are grown quite beautiful now."

"To you," she said. "But look again."

"You are Mother Carey," said Tom, in a very low, solemn voice. For he
had found out something which made him very happy, and yet frightened
him more than all that he had ever seen.

And when they looked again she was neither of them, and yet all of them
at once.

"My name is written in my eyes, if you have eyes to see it there."

And her eyes flashed, for one moment, clear, white, blazing light; but
the children could not read her name, for they were dazzled, and hid
their faces in their hands.

"Not yet, young things, not yet," said she, smiling. And then she turned
to Ellie.

"You may take him home with you on Sundays, Ellie. He has won his spurs
in the great battle, and become fit to be a man; because he has done the
thing he did not like."

       *       *       *       *       *




Westward Ho!


     "Westward Ho!" was published in 1855, and, on the whole, may
     be accepted as the most popular of all Charles Kingsley's
     novels. It is a story full of the life and stir of Elizabethan
     England, and its heroes and heroines are the stout-hearted
     Devonshire people whom Kingsley knew and loved so well. Like
     most historical romances, "Westward Ho!" must not be accepted
     as history, in spite of the fact that its author was Regius
     Professor of History at Cambridge. Kingsley's whole-hearted
     and entirely creditable patriotism and his intense devotion to
     the established Church of England prevented his doing justice
     to Spain or looking with sympathy on Roman Catholicism. (See
     Newman, Vol. XIII.) Kingsley never could refrain from
     preaching his own convictions, and while this often interfered
     with the art of the novelist, it gave a note of sincerity to
     all his work, and warmth and colour to his style.


_I.--How Amyas Came Home the First Time_


One bright summer's afternoon in the year 1575 a tall and fair boy came
lingering along Bideford Quay, in his scholar's gown, with satchel and
slate in hand, watching wistfully the shipping and the sailors, till,
just after he had passed the bottom of the High Street, he came to a
group of sailors listening earnestly to someone who stood in the midst.
The boy, all alive for any sea news, must needs go up to them, and so
came in for the following speech, delivered in a loud, bold voice, with
a strong Devonshire accent.

"I tell you, as I, John Oxenham, am a gentleman, I saw it with these
eyes, and so did Salvation Yeo there; and we measured the heap, seventy
foot long, ten foot broad, and twelve foot high, of silver bars, and
each bar between a thirty and forty pound weight. Come along! Who lists?
Who lists? Who'll make his fortune?"

"Who'll list?" cried a tall, gaunt man, whom the other had called
Salvation Yeo. "Now's your time! We've got forty men to Plymouth now,
ready to sail the minute we get back; and we want a dozen out of you
Bideford men, and just a boy or two, and then we'm off and away, and
make our fortunes or go to heaven."

Then the gaunt man pulled from under his arm a great white buffalo horn,
covered with rough etchings of land and sea.

The horn was passed from hand to hand, and the schoolboy got a nearer
sight of the marvel. To his astonished gaze displayed themselves cities
and harbours, plate ships of Spain, and islands with apes and
palm-trees, and here and there over-written: "Here is gold," and again,
"Much gold and silver." The boy turned it round and round, anxious to
possess this wonderful horn. And Oxenham asked him why he was so keen
after it.

"Because," said he, looking up boldly, "I want to go to sea. I want to
see the Indies. I want to fight the Spaniards." And the lad, having
hurried out his say, dropped his head.

"And you shall," cried Oxenham. "Whose son are you, my gallant fellow?"

"Mr. Leigh's, of Burrough Court."

"Bless his soul! I know him as well as I do the Eddystone. Tell your
father John Oxenham will come and keep him company."

The boy, Amyas Leigh, took his way homewards, and that night John
Oxenham dined at Burrough Court; but failed to get Mr. Leigh's leave to
take young Amyas with him, nor did Sir Richard Grenville, the boy's
godfather, who was also at dinner, help him with his suit.

But somewhat more than a twelvemonth later, Mr. Leigh, going down on
business to Exeter Assizes, caught--as was too common in those days--the
gaol-fever from the prisoners, sickened in the very court, and died
within a week.

"You must be my father now, sir," said young Amyas firmly to Sir Richard
Grenville, on the day after the funeral.

And shortly afterwards, Amyas having broken his slate on the head of
Vindex Brimblecombe, Sir Richard thought it well to go up to Burrough.
And, after much talk and many tears, matters were so concluded that
Amyas Leigh found himself riding joyfully towards Plymouth, and being
handed over to Captain Drake, vanished for three years from the good
town of Bideford.

And now he is returned in triumph, and the observed of all observers.

The bells of Bideford church cannot help breaking forth into a jocund
peal. Bideford streets are a very flower-garden of all the colours,
swarming with seamen and burghers and burghers' wives and daughters, all
in their holiday attire. Garlands are hung across the streets and
tapestries from every window. Every stable is crammed with horses, and
Sir Richard Grenville's house is like a very tavern. Along the little
churchyard streams all the gentle blood of North Devon, and on into the
church, where all are placed according to their degrees, not without
shovings and whisperings from one high-born matron and another. At last
there is a silence, and a looking toward the door, and then distant
music which comes braying and screaming up to the very church doors. Why
are all eyes fixed on those four weather-beaten mariners, decked out
with knots and ribbons by loving hands? And yet more on that gigantic
figure who walks before them, a beardless boy, and yet with the frame
and stature of a Hercules, towering, like Saul of old, a head and
shoulders above all the congregation? And why, as the five fall on their
knees before the altar rails, are all eyes turned to the pew where Mrs.
Leigh, of Burrough, has hid her face between her hands, and her hood
rustles and shakes to her joyful sobs? Because there was fellow-feeling
of old in country and in town. And these are Devon men, and men of
Bideford; and they, the first of all English mariners, have sailed round
the world with Francis Drake, and are come to give God thanks.


_II.--The Brotherhood of the Rose_


It was during the three years of Amyas's absence that Rose Salterne, the
motherless daughter of that honest merchant, the Mayor of Bideford, had
grown into so beautiful a girl of eighteen that half North Devon was mad
about the "Rose of Torridge," as she was called. There was not a young
gallant for ten miles round who would not have gone to Jerusalem to win
her, and not a week passed but some nosegay or languishing sonnet was
conveyed into the Rose's chamber, all of which she stowed away with the
simplicity of a country girl.

Frank Leigh, Amyas's elder brother, who had won himself honour at home
and abroad, and was the friend of Sir Philip Sidney and in favour at the
court of Queen Elizabeth, fell as deeply in love with the Rose when he
came home to rejoice over the return of Amyas as any young squire of
the county.

When the time came for him to set off again for London and for Amyas to
join the queen's forces in Ireland, where war was now raging, Frank and
Amyas concocted a scheme which was put into effect the next day--first
by the innkeeper of the Ship Tavern, who began, under Amyas's orders, a
bustle of roasting and boiling; and next by Amyas himself, who invited
as many of his old schoolfellows as Frank had pointed out to him to a
merry supper; by which crafty scheme in came each of Rose Salteme's
gentle admirers and found himself seated at the table with six rivals.

When the cloth was drawn, and sack and sugar became the order of the
day, and the queen's health had been duly drunk with all the honours,
Frank rose.

"And now, gentlemen, let me give you a health which none of you, I dare
say, will refuse to drink with heart and soul as well as with lips--the
health of one whom beauty and virtue have so ennobled that in their
light the shadow of lowly birth is unseen--the health of 'The Rose of
Torridge,' and a double health to that worthy gentleman, whosoever he
may be, whom she is fated to honour with her love."

Whereupon young Will Cary, of Clovelly Court, calls out, "Join hands all
round, and swear eternal friendship, as brothers of the sacred order of
the--of what, Frank Leigh?"

"The Rose!" said Frank, quietly.

And somehow or other, whether it was Frank's chivalrous speech, or
Cary's fun, or Amyas's good wine, or the nobleness which lies in every
young lad's heart, the whole party shook hands all round, and vowed on
the hilt of Amyas's sword to stand by each other and by their lady-love,
and neither grudge nor grumble, let her dance with, flirt with, or marry
with whom she would; and, in order that the honour of their peerless
dame and the brotherhood which was named after her might be spread
through all lands, they would go home, and ask their fathers' leave to
go abroad wheresoever there were "good wars."

Then Amyas, hearing a sneeze, made a dash at the arras behind him, and,
finding a doorway there, speedily returned, dragging out Mr. John
Brimblecombe, the stout, dark-skinned son of the schoolmaster.

Jack Brimblecombe, now one-and-twenty and a bachelor of Oxford, was in
person exceedingly like a pig; but he was a pig of self-helpful and
serene spirit, always, while watching for the best, contented with the
worst, and therefore fattening fast while other pigs' ribs stare through
their skins.

He had lingered in the passage, hovering around the fragrant smell; and,
once there he could not help hearing what passed inside, till Rose
Salterne's name fell on his ear. And now behold him brought in
red-handed to judgment, not without a kick or two from the wrathful foot
of Amyas Leigh.

"What business have I here?" said Jack, making answer fiercely, amid
much puffing and blowing. "As much as any of you. If you had asked me in
I would have come. You laugh at me because I'm a poor parson's son, and
you fine gentlemen. God made us both, I reckon. I tell you I've loved
her these three years as well as e'er a one of you, I have. Make me one
of your brotherhood, and see if I do not dare to suffer as much as any
of you! Let me but be your chaplain, and pray for your luck when you're
at the wars. If I do stay at home in a country curacy, 'tis not much
that you need be jealous of me with her, I reckon."

So, presently, after a certain mock ceremonial of initiation, Jack
Brimblecombe was declared, on the word of Frank Leigh, admitted to the
brotherhood, and was sent home with a pint of good red Alicant wine in
him, while the rest had a right merry evening. After which they all
departed--Amyas and Cary to Ireland, Frank to the court again. And so
the Brotherhood of the Rose was scattered, and Mistress Salterne was
left alone with her looking-glass.


_III.--The Good Ship Rose_


When Amyas was in Ireland he made captive a certain Spanish grandee, Don
Guzman, and sent him to Sir Richard Grenville to be held at ransom. And
then, the Irish being for the time subdued, Amyas sailed with Sir
Humphrey Gilbert on that ill-fated voyage to Newfoundland, and returned
in rags, landing at Plymouth, where he learnt news of Bideford.

Mrs. Hawkins, wife of John Hawkins the port admiral, gave him supper,
and then told him that the Spanish prisoner had "gone off, the villain."

"Without paying his ransom?"

"I can't say that, but there's a poor, innocent young maid gone off with
him, one Salterne's daughter."

"Rose Salterne, the mayor's daughter, the Rose of Torridge?"

"That's her. Bless your dear soul, what ails you?"

Amyas had dropped back in his seat as if he had been shot; but he
recovered himself, and next morning started for Bideford.

The story was true. Don Guzman had been made governor of La Guayra, in
the West Indies, and his ransom had been paid. But he had fallen in love
with the Rose, and the girl, driven, some said, by the over-harshness of
her father, who loved his daughter and knew not how to manage her, had
willingly escaped with him.

Amyas called on Salterne, and the old burgher besought him to go in
pursuit of the Spaniard, and promised he would spend any money that was
needed to fit out a ship to avenge his child. And Amyas heard that
honest John Brimblecombe, now a parson, mindful of his oath to the
brotherhood, was longing to seek the Rose, though it might be in the
jaws of death. Will Cary, too, was for a voyage to the Indies to cut the
throat of Don Guzman.

Then Mrs. Leigh and Frank, her first-born, getting permission to leave
the court, both consented to the voyage, and Frank would go too. Old
Salterne grumbled at any man save himself spending a penny on the
voyage, and forced on the adventurers a good ship of two hundred tons
burden, and five hundred pounds towards fitting her out; Mrs. Leigh
worked day and night at clothes and comforts of every kind; Amyas gave
his time and his brains. Cary went about beating up recruits; while John
Brimblecombe preached a fierce crusade against the Spaniards, and Frank
grew more and more proud of his brother.

Old Salvation Yeo, who was now in Bideford, again brought twenty good
men from Plymouth who had sailed with Drake.

And now November 15, 1583, has come, and the tall ship Rose, with a
hundred men on board, and food in abundance, has dropped down from
Bideford Quay to Appledore Pool. She is well-fitted with cannon and
muskets and swords, and all agreed so well-appointed a ship had never
sailed "out over Bar."

Mrs. Leigh went to the rocky knoll outside the churchyard wall and
watched the ship glide out between the yellow dunes, and lessen slowly
hour by hour into the boundless west, till her hull sank below the dim
horizon, and her white sails faded away into the grey Atlantic mist.

And the good ship Rose went westward ho! and came in due time to La
Guayra in the Indies, the highest cliff on earth, some seven thousand
feet of rock parted from the sea by a narrow strip of bright green
lowland. Amyas and his company are at last in full sight of the spot in
quest of which they have sailed four thousand miles of sea. Beyond the
town, two or three hundred feet up the steep mountain side, is a large
white house, with a royal flag of Spain flaunting before it. That must
be the governor's house; that must be the abode of the Rose of Torridge.
There are ships of war in the landing-place.

Amyas's plan was to wait till midnight, attack the town on the west,
plunder the government storehouses, and then fight their way back to
their boats. To reach the governor's house seemed impossible with the
small force at their disposal.

But Frank would not have their going away without doing the very thing
for which they came.

"I will go up to that house, Amyas, and speak with her!" he said.

Then Amyas, Cary, and Brimblecombe drew lots as to which of them should
accompany him, and the lot fell upon Amyas Leigh.

At midnight Amyas went on deck, and asked for six volunteers. Whosoever
would come should have double prize money.

"Why six only, captain?" said an old seaman. "Give the word, and any and
all of us will go up with you, sack the house, and bring off the
treasure and the lady before two hours are out!"

"No, no, my brave lads! As for treasure, it is sure to have been put all
safe into the forts; and, as for the lady, God forbid that we should
force her a step without her own will."

The boat with Frank, Amyas, and the six seamen reached the pebble beach.
There seemed no difficulty about finding the path to the house, so
bright was the moon. Leaving the men with the boat, they started up the
beach, with their swords only.

"She may expect us," whispered Frank. "She may have seen our ship, and
some secret sympathy will draw her down towards the sea to-night."

They found the path, which wound in zig-zags up the steep, rocky slope,
easily. It ended at a wicket-gate, and they found the gate was open when
they tried it.

"What is your plan?" said Amyas.

"I have none. I go where I am called--love's willing victim."

Amyas was at his wits' end. A light was burning in a window on the upper
story; twenty black figures lay sleeping on the terrace.

Frank saw the shadow of the Rose against the window. She came down, and
he made a wild appeal to her.

"Your conscience! Your religion--"

"No, never! I can face the chance of death, but not the loss of my
husband. Go! For God's sake leave me!"

Frank turned, and Amyas dragged him down the hill. Both were too proud
to run, but the whole gang of negroes were in pursuit, and stones were
flying.

They were not twenty-five yards from the boat, when the storm burst and
a volley of great quartz pebbles whistled round their heads. Frank is
struck, and Amyas takes him over his shoulders and plunges wildly on
towards the beach.

"Men, to the rescue!" Amyas shouts. "Fire, men! Give it the black
villains!"

The arquebuses crackled from the boat in front, but, balls are answering
from behind. The governor's guard have turned out, followed them to the
beach, and are firing over the negroes' heads.

Amyas is up to his knees in water, battered with stones, blinded with
blood; but Frank is still in his arms. Another heavy blow--confused mass
of negroes and English, foam and pebbles--a confused roar of shouts,
shots, curses, and he recollects no more.

He is lying in the stern-sheets of the boat, stiff and weak. Two men
only are left of the six, and Frank is not in the boat. With weary work
they made the ship, and as, the alarm being now given, it was hardly
safe to remain where they were, it was agreed to weigh anchor. Amyas had
no hope that Frank might still be alive. So ended that fatal venture of
mistaken chivalry.


_IV.--Amyas Comes Home for the Third Time_


More than three years have passed since the Rose sailed out from
Bideford, and never a word has reached England of what has befallen the
ship and her company.

Many have been the adventures of Amyas and the men who have followed
him. Treasure they have got in South America, and old Salvation Yeo has
found a young girl whom he had lost twelve years before, grown up wild
among the Indians. Ayacanora she is called, and she is white, for her
father was an Englishman and her mother Spanish, for all her savage
ways; and will not be separated from her discoverers, but insists on
going with them to England. And Amyas has learnt that his brother Frank
was burnt by order of the Inquisition, and with him Rose, and that Don
Guzman had resigned the governorship of La Guayra.

Amyas swore a dreadful oath before all his men when he was told of the
death of Frank and Rose, that as long as he had eyes to see a Spaniard
and hands to hew him down he would give no quarter to that accursed
nation, and that he would avenge all the innocent blood shed by them.

And now it is February, 1587, and Mrs. Leigh, grown grey and feeble in
step, is pacing up and down the terrace walk at Burrough. A flash is
seen in the fast darkening twilight, and then comes the thunder of a gun
at sea. Twenty minutes later, and a ship has turned up the Bideford
river, and a cheer goes up from her crew.

Yes, Amyas has come, and with him Will Cary and the honest parson, Jack
Brimblecombe, and the good seamen of Devon; and Ayacanora, who knelt
down obedient before Mrs. Leigh because she had seen Amyas kneel, and
whom Mrs. Leigh took by the hand and led to Bur-rough Court.

William Salterne would take none of his share of the treasure which was
brought home, and which he had a just claim to.

"The treasure is yours, sir," he said to Amyas. "I have enough, and more
than enough. And if I have a claim in law for aught, which I know not,
neither shall ever ask--why, if you are not too proud, accept that claim
as a plain burgher's thank-offering to you, sir, for a great and a noble
love which you and your brother have shown to one who, though I say it
to my shame, was not worthy thereof."

That night old Salterne was found dead, kneeling by his daughter's bed.
His will lay by him. Any money due to him as owner of the Rose, and a
new barque of 300 tons burden, he had bequeathed to Captain Amyas Leigh,
on condition that he should re-christen that barque the Vengeance, and
with her sail once more against the Spaniard.

In the summer of 1588 comes the great Armada, and Captain Leigh has the
Vengeance fitted out for war, and is in the English Channel. He has
found out that Don Guzman is on board the Santa Catherina, and is set on
taking his revenge.

For twelve months past this hatred of Don Guzman has been eating out his
heart, and now the hour has struck. But the Armada melts away in the
storms of the North Sea, and Captain Leigh has pursued the Santa
Catherina round the Orkneys and down to Lundy Island. And there, on the
rock called the Shutter, the Santa Catherina strikes, and then vanishes
for ever and ever.

"Shame!" cried Amyas, hurling his sword far into the sea, "to lose my
right, when it was in my very grasp!"

A crack which rent the sky, a bright world of flame, and then a blank of
utter darkness. The great proud sea captain has been struck blind by the
flash of lightning.

       *       *       *       *       *

Once more Amyas Leigh has come home. His work is over, his hatred dead.
And Ayacanora will comfort him.

"Amyas, my son," said Mrs. Leigh, "fear not to take her to your heart,
for it is your mother who has laid her there!"

"It is true, after all," said Amyas to himself. "What God has joined
together, man cannot put asunder."

       *       *       *       *       *




HENRY KINGSLEY


Geoffry Hamlyn


     Henry Kingsley, younger brother of Charles Kingsley, was born
     at Barnack, Northamptonshire, England, Jan. 2, 1830. Leaving
     Worcester College, Oxford, in 1853, he, with a number of
     fellow-students, emigrated to the Australian goldfields. After
     some five years of unremunerative toil he returned to England,
     poor in pocket, but possessing sufficient knowledge of life to
     justify his adoption of a literary career. His first attempt,
     and perhaps his most successful, was "The Recollections of
     Geoffry Hamlyn," published in 1859, which was based largely on
     his own experiences in Australia. From that time until his
     death on May 24, 1876, some nineteen stories flowed in quick
     succession from his pen, none of them, however, reaching the
     high standard of his first two--"Geoffry Hamlyn" and
     "Ravenshoe." In 1869 Kingsley became editor of the Edinburgh
     "Daily Review," and on the outbreak of the Franco-German War
     represented that paper at the front. He was present at the
     battle of Sedan, and was the first Englishman to enter the
     town afterwards.


_I.--In a Devonshire Village_


The twilight of a winter's evening was fast falling into night, and old
John Thornton sat dozing by the fire. His face looked worn and aged, and
anyone might see the old man was unhappy.

What could there be to vex him? Not poverty, at all events, for not a
year ago a relation had left him L5,000, and a like sum to his daughter,
Mary. And his sister--a quiet, good old maid--had come to live with him,
so that now he was comfortably off, and had with him the only two
relations he cared about to make his old age happy. His daughter Mary--a
beautiful girl, merry, impetuous, and thoughtless--was standing at the
window.

The white gate swings on its hinges, and a tall man comes, with rapid,
eager steps, up the walk. The maid, bringing in candles, announces: "Mr.
George Hawker!"

As the light fell on him, any man or woman might have exclaimed
instantly, and with justice, "What a handsome fellow!" Handsome he was,
without doubt, and yet the more you looked at him the less you liked
him. The thin lips, the everlasting smile, the quick, suspicious glance
were fearfully repulsive. He was the only son of a small farmer in one
of the outlying hamlets of Drumston. His mother had died when he was
very young, and he had had little education, and strange stories were in
circulation about that lonely farmhouse, not much to the credit of
father or son; which stories John Thornton must, in his position of
clergyman, have heard somewhat of; so that one need hardly wonder at his
uneasiness when he saw him enter.

For Mary Thornton adored him. The rest of the village disliked and
mistrusted him; but she, with a strange perversity, loved him with her
whole heart and soul. After a few words, the lovers were whispering in
the window.

Presently the gate goes again, and another footfall is heard
approaching.

That is James Stockbridge. I should know that step in a thousand. As he
entered the parlour, John's face grew bright, and he held out his hand
to him; but he got rather a cool reception from the pair at the window.

Old John and he were as father and son, and sat there before the
cheerful blaze smoking their pipes.

"How are your Southdowns looking, Jim?" says the vicar. "How is
Scapegrace Hamlyn?"

"He is very well, sir. He and I are thinking of selling up and going to
New South Wales."

The vicar was "knocked all of a heap" at Jim's announcement; but,
recovering a little, said, "You hear him? He is going to sell his
estate--250 acres of the best land in Devon--and go and live among the
convicts. And who is going with him? Hamlyn, the wise! Oh, dear me! And
what is he going for?"

That was a question apparently hard to answer. Yet I think the real
cause was standing there, with a look of unbounded astonishment upon her
pretty face.

"Going to leave us, James!" she cried. "Why, whatever shall I do without
you?"

"Yes, Miss Mary," said James huskily. "I think I may say we've settled
to go. Hamlyn has got a letter from a cousin of his, who is making a
fortune; and besides, I've got tired of the old place somehow lately."

Time went on, and May was well advanced. That had at last reached the
vicar's ears which had driven him to risk a quarrel with his daughter
and forbid George Hawker the house.

George went home one evening and found Madge, the gipsy woman who had
brought him up, sitting before the kitchen fire.

"Well, old woman, where's the old man?"

"Away at Colyton fair," she answered.

"I hope he'll have the sense to stay there to-night He'll fall off his
horse, coming home drunk one night, and be found dead in a ditch."

"Good thing for you if he was."

"Maybe," said George; "but I'd be sorry for him, too."

"He's been a good father to you, George, and I like you for speaking up
for him. He's an awful old rascal, my boy, but you'll be a worse if you
live."

"Now stop that, Madge! I want your help, old girl."

"Ay, and you'll get it, my pretty boy. Bend over the fire, and whisper
in my ear, lad."

"Madge, old girl," he whispered, "I've wrote the old man's name where I
oughtn't to have done."

"What, again!" she answered. "Three times! For God's sake, George, mind
what you're at! Why, you must be mad! What's this last?"

"Why, the five hundred. I only did it twice."

"You mustn't do it again, George. He likes you best of anything next his
money, and sometimes I think he wouldn't spare you if he knew he'd been
robbed. You might make yourself safe for any storm if you liked."

"How?"

"Marry that little doll Thornton, and get her money."

"Well," said George, "I am pushing that on. The old man won't come
round, and I want her to go off with me; but she can't get up her
courage yet."

But in a few days Mary had consented. They had left the village at
midnight, and were married in London. Within a year George Hawker had
spent all his wife's money, and had told her to her face he was tired of
her. He fell from bad to worse, and finally becoming the ally of a
coiner, was arrested and transported for life.

Mary Hawker, with a baby, tramped her way home to the village she had
left.


_II.--A General Exodus_


The vicar had only slowly recovered from the fit in which he had fallen
on the morning of Mary's departure, to find himself hopelessly
paralytic. When Mary's letter, written just after her marriage, came, it
was a great relief. They had kept from him all knowledge of George
Hawker's forgery, which had been communicated to them by Major Buckley,
old John Thornton's very good friend and near neighbour.

But George' Hawker burnt the loving letters they wrote in reply, and
Mary remained under the impression that they had cast her off. So when,
one bright Sunday morning, old Miss Thornton found a poor woman sitting
on the doorstep, Mary rose, prepared to ask forgiveness. Her aunt rushed
forward wildly, and hugged her to her honest heart.

When they were quieted, Miss Thornton went up to tell the vicar. The
poor old man was far gone beyond feeling joy or grief to any great
extent. Mary, looking in, saw he was so altered she hardly knew him.

The good news soon got up to Major Buckley's, and he was seen striding
up the path, leading the pony carrying his wife and child. While they
were still busy welcoming Mary came a ring at the door. Who but her
cousin, Tom Troubridge? Who else was there to raise her four good feet
from the floor and call her his darling little sister?

This was her welcome home--to the home she had dreaded to come to, where
she had meant to come only as a penitent, to leave her child and go
forth to die.

After dinner, Mrs. Buckley told Mary all the news, how her husband had
heard from Stockbridge, how he and Hamlyn were so flourishing, and had
written such an account of the country that Major Buckley, half
persuaded before, had now made up his mind to go there himself, and Tom
Troubridge was much inclined to go too. Mary was sad to think of losing
them all so soon, but Mrs. Buckley pointed out her father's state gently
to her, and asked her to think what she would do when he was gone. Miss
Thornton said she had made up her mind to go wherever Mary went, if it
were to the other end of the earth.

Scarcely more than a week had passed when another messenger came to old
John Thornton, and one so peremptory that he rose and followed it in the
dead of night.

It was two months yet before the major intended to sail, and long before
they had passed Mary and Miss Thornton had determined to cast in their
lot with the others, and cross the sea towards a more hopeful land.


_III.--The New World_


A new heaven, and a new earth. All creation is new and strange. The
trees, the graceful shrubs, the bright-coloured flowers, ay, the very
grass itself, are of species unknown in Europe, while flaming lories and
brilliant paroquets fly whistling through the gloomy forest, and
overhead countless cockatoos wheel and scream in noisy joy, as we may
see the gulls do in England.

We are in Australia, three hundred and fifty miles south of Sydney, on
the great watershed which divides the Belloury from the Maryburnong.

As the sun was going down, James Stockbridge and I, Geoffry Hamlyn,
reined up our horses and gazed down the long gully at our feet. For five
days we had been passing from run to run, making inquiries about some
cattle we had lost, and were now fifty long miles from home.

At this time Stockbridge and I had been settled in our new home about
two years, and were beginning to get comfortable and settled. We had had
but little trouble with the blacks, and having taken possession of a
fine piece of country, were flourishing and well-to-do. I dismounted to
set right some strap or other, and stood looking at the prospect, glad
to ease my legs for a time, cramped with many hours' riding.

Stockbridge sat immovable and silent as a statue, and I saw that his
heart travelled farther than his eye could reach.

"Jim," said I, "I wonder what is going on at Drumston now?"

"I wonder," he said softly.

"Jim," I began again, "do you ever think of poor little Mary now?"

"Yes, old boy, I do," he replied. "I was thinking of her then--I am
always thinking of her. I wonder if she married that fellow Hawker?"

"I fear there's but little doubt of it," I said. "Try to forget her,
James; you'll make all your life unhappy if you don't."

He laughed.

"That's all very well, Jeff, but it's easier said than done. Do you hear
that? There are cattle down the gully!"

There was some noise in the air beside the evening rustle of the south
wind among the tree-tops. Now it sounded like a far-off hubbub of
waters, now swelled up harmonious, like the booming of cathedral bells
across some rich old English valley on a still summer's afternoon.

"I'll tell you what I think it is, old Jeff; it's some new chums going
to cross the watershed, and look for new country to the south. Let us go
down to meet them; they will come down by the river yonder."

All doubt about what the newcomers were was solved before we reached the
river; so we sat and watched the scene so venerable and ancient--the
patriarchs moving into the desert, to find new pasture-ground.

First came the cattle lowing loudly, then horsemen, six or seven in
number, and last, four drays came crawling up the pass.

Suddenly James dashed forward with a shout, and when I came up with him,
wondering, I found myself shaking hands, talking and laughing, with
Major Buckley and Tom Troubridge.

They told us all the news as we rode with them to the drays, where sat
Mrs. Buckley,--a noble, happy matron, laughing at her son, as he toddled
about busy gathering sticks for the fire. Beside her sat Mary, looking
sad and worn, with her child on her lap, and poor old Miss Thornton,
glancing uneasily round.

Mary sprang up, burst into hysterical weeping. I saw how his big heart
yearned to comfort his old sweetheart in her distress, as he took the
child of his rival to his bosom.

"Is nobody going to notice me or my boy, I wonder?" said Mrs. Buckley.
"Come here immediately, Mr. Stockbridge, before we quarrel."

Soon we were all restored to our equanimity, and laying plans for future
meetings.

Next morning, with many hearty farewells, and having promised to spend
Christmastide with them, I turned my horse homewards, and went my
solitary way. Jim was going on with them to see them settled.


_IV.--Father and Son_


There is a long period of dull prosperity coming to our friends. Go on
two years. See Baroona, the Buckley's place, now. That hut where we
spent the pleasant Christmas-day is degraded into the kitchen, for a new
house is built--a long, low house, with deep, cool verandas all round,
already festooned with passion flowers, and young grape-vines.

Mary and Miss Thornton had stayed with the Buckleys till good Cousin Tom
had got a house ready for them--a charming house covered with creepers,
and backed by huts, sheep-yards, and all the usual concomitants of a
flourishing Australian sheep-station. This is Toonarbin, where Mary
Hawker is living with her son Charles as happy and uninteresting an
existence as ever fell to the lot of a handsome woman yet. The old dark
days seem like a bad dream. She had heard of her husband's re-conviction
and life sentence--finally death, and George Hawker is as one who has
never lived.

So sixteen years rolled peacefully away, until Tom Troubridge returned
from a journey up country with news of a great gang of bushrangers being
"out." He had actually sat hob-nob with the captain in a public house,
without knowing it. But his servant, William Lee, an ex-convict, knew
him, and told them that the great Captain Tonan, with whose crimes the
whole country was ringing, was George Hawker himself. Mary's terrible
fear that father and son might meet made her ill and delirious for
weeks; Tom and his trusty servant kept watch, then heard from a passing
cattle-dealer that the gang had been "utterly obliterated" by Captain
Desborough, the chief of police--but the captain had escaped.

Things went on quietly for two months, and no one thought about
bushrangers--but Mary, at her watch up at the lonely forest station--
till one morning Lee's body was found dead in his hut, with a pistol
lying near with "G. Hawker" scratched upon it. A messenger was sent post
haste to fetch Desborough and his troopers, who came, declared the
country in a state of siege, and kept us all staying at Major Buckley's.

We were sitting merrily over our wine one day, when hasty steps came
through the house. The bushrangers had attacked a station not far off,
killed the owner, and were now riding towards Captain Brentford's, the
major's nearest neighbour and old friend. Captain Desborough rose with
deadly wrath in his face. The laughing Irishman was gone, and a stern,
gloomy man stood in his place. But the villains had done their work of
destruction before we reached Garoopm, and gone off to the mountains.

"We shall have them in the morning," said Desborough. "More particularly
as they have in their drunken madness hampered themselves in the
mountains."

We started before daybreak; each man of us armed with swords and
pistols, and every man knew the use of his weapons well.

As we entered the mouth of the glen to which we were bound, one of the
most beautiful gullies I have ever seen, I turned to the man beside me.
Conceive my horror at finding it was Charles Hawker! I said fiercely,
"Get back, Charles! Go home! You don't know what you're doing, lad."

He defied me. I was speaking to him again when there came a puff of
smoke from the rocks overhead, and down I went, head over heels. A
bullet grazed my thigh, and killed my horse; so that during the fight
that followed, I was sitting on a rock very sick and very stupid.

"They've set a watch," said Captain Desborough. "They'll fight us now;
they can't help it, thank God!"

Then, under the beetling crags, the bushrangers turned like hunted
wolves, and stood at bay. Now the fight became general and confused. All
about among the ferns and flowers men fought, and fired, and cursed.
Shots were cracking on all sides, and two riderless horses were
galloping about neighing.

Desborough fought neither against small nor great, but only against one
man--George Hawker. Him he had sworn he would bring home, alive or dead.
He caught sight of his quarry, and instantly made towards him. As soon
as Hawker saw he was recognised, he made to the left, trying to reach
the only practicable way back to the mountains. They fired at one
another without effect. As the ground got more open, Desborough was
aware of one who came charging recklessly up alongside of him, and
recognised Charley Hawker. He had had no hint of the relationship.

"Good lad," he said; "come on. I must have that fellow before us. He's
the arch-devil of the lot. We must have him!"

"We'll have him safe enough!" said Charles. "Push to the left, captain,
and we shall get him among these fallen rocks."

They pushed forwards, and soon succeeded in bringing him to bay. Alas,
too well!

He reined up when he saw escape was impossible, and awaited their
coming. Desborough's horse received a bullet in the chest, and down went
horse and man together. But Charles pushed on till within ten yards of
the bushranger, and levelled his pistol to fire.

For an instant father and son glared on one another as the father made
his aim more deadly. The bullet sped, and the poor boy tumbled from his
saddle, clutching wildly at the grass and flowers--shot through the
chest. Then, ere Desborough had disentangled himself from his fallen
horse, George Hawker rode off laughing--out through the upper rock walls
into the presence of the broad snow-line that rolled above his head in
endless lofty tiers, and made for the broader valley which stretched
beyond.

There was no pursuit, he thought. How could there be? Who knew of this
route but he and his mates? No creature was stirring, but he must
onwards--onwards, across the snow. Twilight, and then night, and still
the snow but half passed. Strange ghosts and fancies crowd in upon him
thick and fast.

Morning, and the pale ghosts have departed. He reached the gully where
his refuge lay, utterly dispirited, just as the sun was setting. He
turned a sharp angle round an abrupt cliff. He saw a horseman within ten
yards of him--Captain Desborough, holding a pistol to his head! Hungry,
cold, desperate, unarmed--his pistols had gone with his horse over a
precipice--he threw up his arms, and was instantly chained fast to
Desborough's saddle, only to be loosed, he knew, by the gallows.

Without a word on either side they began their terrible journey. They
had gone two or three miles before Hawker said: "That young fellow I
shot when you were after me, is he dead?"

"By this time," said Desborough. "He was dying as I came away."

"Would you mind stopping for a moment, captain? Now tell me who was he?"

"Mr. Charles Hawker, son of Mrs. Hawker, of Toonarbin."

Desborough told me his wild, despairing cry rang in his ears for years
afterwards.

       *       *       *       *       *

One wild, dreary day in spring, Major Buckley and I were admitted to the
condemned cell in the gaol in Sydney. Before us was a kind of bed place.
On it lay a man with his face buried in the pillow. I advanced towards
him, but the governor held me back.

"My God, sir," he said, "take care! Don't, as you value your life, go
within length of his chain."

The handsome head was raised, and my eyes met George Hawker's. I could
not see the fierce, desperate villain who had kept our country-side in
terror so long; I could only see the handsome, curly-headed boy who used
to play with James Stockbridge and myself in Drumston churchyard! And,
seeing him, and him only, I sat down beside him, and put my arm round
his neck.

I don't want to be instructed in my duty. My duty as a magistrate was to
stand at the farther end of the cell, and give this hardened criminal a
moral lecture. But I only hung there, with my arm round his neck, and
said, "Oh, George, George!" like a fool.

He put his hands on my shoulders, and looked me in the face, and said,
after a time, "What! Hamlyn? Old Jeff Hamlyn! Jeff, old boy, I'm to be
hung to-morrow."

"I know it," I said. "And I came to ask if I could do anything for you."

"Anything you like, old Jeff," he said, with a laugh, "so long as you
don't get me reprieved. I've murdered my own son, Jeff. Do you know
that?"

I answered, "Yes, I know that, George; but you did not know who he was."

"He came at me to take my life," said Hawker. "And I tell you, if I had
guessed who he was, I'd have blown my brains out to save him from the
crime of killing me."

The major came forward, and held out his hand to George Hawker, and
asked him to forgive him; he had been his enemy since they first met.

"Let me tell you, major, I feel more kind and hearty towards you and
Hamlyn for coming to me like this than I've felt towards any man this
twenty years. Time's up, I see. I ain't so much of a coward, am I, Jeff?
Good-bye, old lad, good-bye!"

That was the last we saw of him; the next morning he was executed with
four of his comrades.

       *       *       *       *       *

After all this, we old folks taking up our residence at Baroona had
agreed to make common house of it. We were very dull at first, but I
remember many pleasant evenings, when we played whist; and Mary Hawker,
in her widow's weeds, sat sewing by the fireside contentedly enough.

But one evening next spring in stalked Tom Troubridge; and, in short, he
took her off with him, and they were married. And I think I never saw a
couple more sincerely attached than she and her husband.

       *       *       *       *       *




Ravenshoe


     "Ravenshoe" was Henry Kingsley's second novel, and it was
     published in 1862, when its author was thirty-two years old.
     It will always rank with "Geoffry Hamlyn" as Henry Kingsley's
     best work. These two books were their author's favourites
     among his own novels, and Charles Ravenshoe was one of his two
     favourite characters. It has been said that "Ravenshoe" is
     "alive--the expression of a man who worked both with heart and
     brain," and few would care to dispute that opinion. For study
     of character, wide charity of outlook, brilliant descriptive
     writing--as, for instance, in the charge at Balaclava, and
     real, not mawkish, pathos--as in the hopeless misery of
     Charles, invalided, with only eighteen shillings, out of the
     army--"Ravenshoe" will always deserve to be read. It is the
     work of a writer who was not ashamed to avow himself an
     "optimist."


_I.--Charles Loses His Brother and His Home_


In 1820 Densil lost both his father and mother, and found himself, at
the age of thirty-seven, master of Ravenshoe--an estate worth L10,000 a
year--and master of himself.

Densil was an only son. His father, Peter Ravenshoe, had married Alicia,
daughter of Charles, Earl of Ascot.

The Ravenshoes, an old West of England family, were Catholics; but
Densil's second wife (his first wife died childless in 1816) was a
Protestant, and made her husband promise that all her children, after
her first born, should be brought up Protestant.

Mrs. Ravenshoe bore Densil two sons: Cuthbert, born 1826; Charles, born
1831.

On the night Charles was born his mother lay dying, and Densil swore to
her he would keep the promise he had made. And to this vow he was
faithful, in spite of the indignation of Father Mackworth, the resident
Catholic priest at Ravenshoe.

The doctor insisted that a nurse was an immediate necessity, and James
Horton, Densil's devoted servant and head keeper, suggested his wife,
Norah; a proposal that had the doctor's immediate approval.

In due time Charles went to Eton and to Oxford, where he was rusticated
for a term with his friend Lord Welter, Lord Ascot's eldest son, and
fell in love with Adelaide, a penniless young lady, who acted as
companion to old Lady Ascot.

At Ravenshoe, Charles and Mackworth seldom met without a "sparring
match," for to the priest it was intolerable that this house should, in
the event of Cuthbert dying childless, pass into Protestant hands.

On the other hand, it was natural that a considerable amount of
familiarity, and a most sincere and hearty affection, should exist
between Charles and his servant and foster-brother, William Horton. Till
Charles went to Shrewsbury he had never had another playfellow, for his
brother Cuthbert was reserved and bookish; and the friendship between the
two had grown with age.

One other inmate of Ravenshoe must be mentioned--this was little Mary
Corby, who was saved miraculously from the wreck of the Warren Hastings
when Charles was about ten. She was the daughter of Captain Corby, and
when the ship went down in fifteen fathoms of water, the mate, assisted
by fishermen, and encouraged by Densil, managed to get the little girl
to shore, and to Ravenshoe--for the house was not far from the cliffs.

In spite of Densil's letters and inquiries, no friends came forward to
claim little Mary, then a child of nine, and in three months she was
considered as a permanent member of the household. And the night before
Charles went to school he told her of his grand passion for Adelaide.

On the day of the Oxford and Cambridge boat-race, when Charles rowed
three in the winning boat, Densil Ravenshoe died, after two days'
illness. Old James Horton's death occurred at the same time. Charles
hurried home in time for the funeral, and when all was over a servant
came up to him, and asked him would he see Mr. Ravenshoe in the library?
Charles entered the library with William, who had also been sent for.

Charles went up silently and kissed his brother on the forehead. For a
few minutes Cuthbert neither moved nor spoke, while Charles greeted
Mackworth civilly. William stood at a little distance, looking uneasily
from one to another.

Cuthbert broke the silence, and as he spoke Charles, by some instinct,
laid his hand on William's shoulder.

"I sent for you," he said, "on business which must be gone through with,
though I expect it will kill me. I should like to prepare you for what
is to come, but the blow would be equally severe whether you expect it
or not. You two who stand there were nursed at the same breast. That
groom on whose shoulder you have your hand now is my real brother; you
are no relation to me--you are the son of the faithful old servant whom
we buried to-day with my father!"

Charles at once asked for proofs and witnesses, and Mackworth took up
the tale.

"Your mother was Norah, James Horton's wife. James Horton was Densil
Ravenshoe's half-brother, and the illegitimate son of Peter. She
confessed to me the wicked fraud she practised, and has committed that
confession to paper. I hold it. You have not a point of ground to stand
on. You have been living in luxury and receiving an expensive education
when you should have been cleaning out the stable."

Charles's heart died away within him.

"Cuthbert," he said, "you are a gentleman. Is this true?"

"God knows how terribly true it is!" said Cuthbert quietly.

Father Mackworth handed the paper, signed by his mother, to him, and
Charles read it. It was completely conclusive. William also read it, and
turned pale.

Cuthbert spoke again in his quiet, passionless voice.

"My intention," he said, "is to make a provision of L300 a year for this
gentleman, whom till the last few days I believed to be my brother. Less
than twenty-four hours ago, Charles, I offered Father Mackworth L10,000
for this paper, with a view to destroying it. You see what a poor weak
rogue I am, and what a criminal I might become with a little temptation.
Father Mackworth did his duty and refused me!"

"You acted like yourself, Cuthbert. Like one who would risk body and
soul for one you loved. But it is time that this scene should end. I
utterly refuse the assistance so nobly offered. I go forth alone into
the world to make my own way, or to be forgotten. It only remains to say
good-bye. I leave this house without a hard thought towards any one in
it. I am at peace with all the world. Father Mackworth, I beg your
forgiveness. I have often been rude and brutal to you. Good-bye!"

He shook hands with Mackworth, then with William, and lastly he went up
to Cuthbert and kissed him on the cheek; and then walked out of the door
into the hall.

"I am going to follow him, wherever he goes," said William. "If he goes
to the world's end, I will be with him!"


_II.--Charles Loses Himself_


Charles fled from Ravenshoe for London in the middle of the night,
determined that William should not follow him. But he could not bear to
go out and seek fortune without seeing Adelaide. So he called at
Ranford, Lord Ascot's seat, only to learn that Adelaide had eloped with
Lord Welter. The two were married when he afterwards saw them in London.

Charles had to tell his story to old Lady Ascot, and when he had gone
she said to herself, "I will never keep another secret after this. It
was for Alicia's sake and for Peter's that I did it, and now see what
has become of me!"

In London, Charles Ravenshoe committed suicide deliberately. He did not
hang himself or drown himself; he hired himself out as groom--being
perfectly accomplished in everything relating to horses--to Lieutenant
Hornby, of the 140th Hussars; and when the Crimean War broke out,
enlisted, under the name of Simpson, as a trooper in Hornby's regiment.

On October 25 Charles was at Balaclava. They went down hill, straight
towards the guns, and almost at once the shot from them began to tell.
Charles was in the second line, and the men in the front line began to
fall terribly fast as they rode into the narrowing valley. It was
impossible to keep line. Presently the batteries right and left opened
on them, and those who were there engaged can give us very little idea
of what followed in the next quarter of an hour. They were soon among
the guns--the very guns that had annoyed them from the first--and
Charles, and two or three others known to him, were hunting some Russian
artillerymen round these guns for a minute or so.

He saw also at this time a friend of his--a cornet--on foot, and rode to
his assistance. He caught a riderless horse, and the cornet mounted.
Then the word was given to get back again, and as they turned their
faces to get out of this terrible hell, poor Charles gave a short, sharp
scream, and bent down in his saddle over his horse's neck.

It was nothing. It was only as if one were to have twenty teeth pulled
out at once. The pain was over in an instant. His left arm seemed nearly
dead, but he could hold his reins in a way. He saw Hornby before him,
and his own friends were beside him again, and there was a rally and a
charge. At guns? No. At men this time--Russian hussars--right valiant
fellows, too. He could do but little himself. He rode at a Russian, and
unhorsed him; he remembers seeing the man go down. They beat them back,
and then turned and rode--for it was time.

As the noise of the battle grew fainter behind them, he looked around to
see who was riding beside him and holding him by the right arm. It was
the little cornet. Charles wondered why he did so.

"You're hard hit, Simpson," said the cornet. "Never mind. Keep your
saddle a little longer. We shall be all right directly."

Charles looked down, and noticed that his left arm was hanging numbed by
his side, and that a trooper was guiding his horse.

Soon they were among English faces, and English cheers rang out in
welcome to their return, but it was nothing to him; he kept his eye,
which was growing dim, on Hornby, and when he saw him fall off his
saddle into the arms of a trooper, he dismounted, too, and staggered
towards him.

The world seemed to go round and round, and he felt about him like a
blind man. But he found Hornby somehow. Presently a doctor was bending
over him.

Later, they found Hornby dead and cold, with his head on Charles's lap.
Charles had been struck by a ball in the bone of his arm, and the
splinters were driven into the flesh, though the arm was not broken. It
was a nasty business, said the doctors. All sorts of things might happen
to him. Only one thing was certain, and that was that Charles
Ravenshoe's career in the army was over for ever.

At home they all believed him dead, for William had traced him to Varna,
and there had been informed that his foster-brother had died of cholera.
The change of name was partly responsible for this, for among the dead
or living there was no signs of Charles Ravenshoe.

But he recovered, after a long spell in the hospital at Scutari, and
after a time was sent home to Fort Pitt. But that mighty left arm, which
had done such noble work when it belonged to No. 3 in the Oxford
University Eight, was useless; and Charles Simpson, trooper of the
140th, was discharged from the army, and found himself on Christmas Eve
in the street with eighteen shillings and ninepence in his pocket,
wondering blindly what the end would be, but no more dreaming of begging
from those who had known him formerly than of leaping off Waterloo
Bridge.


_III.--The Last Eighteen Shillings_


Charles's luck seemed certainly to have deserted him at last. He had got
to spend his Christmas with eighteen shillings and a crippled left arm,
and had nothing left to trust to but his little friend, the cornet, who
had come home invalided, and was living with his mother in Hyde Park
Gardens.

The cornet welcomed him with both hands, and, hearing from Charles of
his plight, said, "Now, I know you are a gentleman, and I may offend
you, but, if you are utterly hard up, take service with me. There!"

"I will do so with the deepest gratitude," said Charles. "But I cannot
ride, I fear. My left arm is gone."

"Pish! Ride with your right. It's a bargain."

Then Charles went upstairs, and was introduced to the cornet's mother.

He accepted his new position with dull carelessness. Life was getting
very worthless. And all this time, had he but known it, money and a
home, and sweet little Mary Corby, who had loved him ever since he was a
boy, were waiting for him.

There was also a remarkable advertisement which appeared in the "Times"
for a considerable period, and was never seen by Charles. The
advertisement was inserted by old Lady Ascot, and offered one hundred
guineas to any person who could discover the register of marriage
between Peter Ravenshoe, Esq., of Ravenshoe, in the county of Devon, and
Maria Dawson, supposed to have been solemnised about 1778.

How was Charles to know that Cuthbert Ravenshoe was dead; that William,
now master of Ravenshoe, still hoped for his foster-brother's life, and
that old Lady Ascot was doing all she could to atone for a mistake?
Charles, in fact, was still very weak and ill, and served his friend the
cornet in a poor way. He had not recovered the shock of his fever and
delirium in the Crimea, and both nerve and health were gone.

Nobody could be more kind and affectionate than the cornet and his deaf
mother. They guessed that he was "somebody," and that things were wrong
with him; and the cornet once or twice invited his confidence; but he
was too young, and Charles had not the energy to tell him anything.

And life was getting very, very weary business for Charles. By day,
riding had become a terror, and at night he got no rest. And his mind
began to dwell too much on the bridges over the Thames, and on the water
lapping and swirling about the piers.

Then, as it happened, a little shoeblack with whom Charles had struck up
a friendship, falling sick in a foul court in South London, Charles must
needs go and sit with him. The child died in his arms, and a dull terror
came on Charles when he thought of his homeward journey. A scripture
reader who had been in the room came towards him and laid his hand upon
his shoulder. Charles turned from the dead child, and looked up into the
face of John Marston, the best of his old Oxford friends.

They passed out of the house together, Charles clinging tight to John
Marston's arms. When they got to Marston's lodgings, Charles sat down by
the fire, and said quietly, "John, you have saved me! I should never
have got home this night."

But John Marston, by finding Charles, had dashed his dearest hopes to
the ground. He had always loved Mary Corby from his first visit to
Ravenshoe, and Mary loved Charles, who had loved Adelaide, who had
married Lord Welter. Marston thought there was just a chance for him,
and now that chance was gone. How did he behave, knowing that?

He put his hand on Charles's shoulder and said, "Charles--Charles, my
dear old boy, look up! Think of Mary. She has been wooed by more than
one, but I think her heart is yours yet."

"John," said Charles, "that is what has made me hide from you all like
this. I know that she loved me above all men; and partly that she should
forget a penniless and disgraced man like myself, and partly from a
silly pride, I have spent all my cunning on losing myself, hoping that
you would believe me dead."

"We have hunted you hard, Charles. You do not know, I suppose, that you
are a rich man, and undoubtedly heir of Ravenshoe, though one link is
still wanting."

"What do you mean?"

"There is no reasonable doubt, although we cannot prove it, that your
grandfather Peter was married previously to his marriage with Lady
Alicia Staunton, that your father James was the real Ravenshoe, while
poor Cuthbert and William--"

"Cuthbert! I will hide again. I will never displace Cuthbert, mind you."

"Cuthbert is dead. He was drowned bathing last August."

Charles broke down, and cried like a child. When he was quiet, he asked
after William.

"He is very well, as he deserves to be. He gave up everything to hunt
you through the world and bring you back. Now, my dear old boy, do
satisfy my curiosity. What regiment did you enlist in?"

"In the 140th."

He paused, hid his face in his hands, and then his speech became rapid
and incoherent.

"At Devna we got wood-pigeons, and I rode the Roucan-nosed bay, and he
carried me through it capitally. I ask your pardon, sir, but I am only a
poor discharged trooper. I would not beg, sir, if I could help it, but
pain and hunger are hard things to bear, sir!"

"Charles--Charles! Don't you know me?"

"That is my name, sir. That is what they used to call me. I am no common
beggar, sir. I was a gentleman once, sir, and rode a-horseback. I was in
the light cavalry charge at Balaclava. An angry business. They shouldn't
get good fellows to fight together like that--"

The next morning, old Lady Ascot, William, Mary, and John Marston were
round his bed listening to his half-uttered, delirious babble. The
anxious question was put to the greatest of the doctors present. "My
dear Dr. B----, will he die?"

"Well, yes," said the doctor. "I would sooner say 'Yes' than 'No'--the
chances are so heavy against him. You must really prepare for the
worst."


_IV.--A Life-Long Shadow_


Of course, he did not die--I need not tell you that. The doctors pulled
him through. And when he was better the doctors removed the splinters of
bone from his arm. He did not talk much in this happy quiet time.
William and Lady Ascot were with him all day. William, dear fellow, used
to sit on a footstool and read the "Times" to him.

Lord Welter (now Lord Ascot, on the death of his father) came to see
Charles one day, and something he said made Charles ask if Adelaide was
dead.

"Tell me something," said Lord Ascot. "Have you any love left for her
yet?"

"Not one spark," said Charles. "If I ever am a man again, I shall ask
Mary Corby to marry me. I ought to have done so sooner, perhaps. But I
love your wife, Welter, in a way; and I should grieve at her death, for
I loved her once."

"The truth is very horrible. We went out hunting together, and I was
getting the gate open for her, when her devil of a horse rushed it, and
down they came on it together. And she broke her back, and the doctor
says she may live till seventy, but that she will never move from where
she lies--and just as I was getting to love her so dearly--"

That same afternoon Charles asked William to get Mary to come and see
him, and William straightway departed, and found Mary. And later in the
day Miss Mary Corby announced that she and Charles were engaged to be
married.

William was still master of Ravenshoe, but he was convinced that the
first marriage of his grandfather would be proved, and Charles
reinstated.

"Remember, Charles, I am not spending the revenues of Ravenshoe," he
said. "They are yours. I know it. I am spending about L400 a year. When
our grandfather's marriage is proved, you will provide for me and my
wife, I know that. Be quiet."

William had long been engaged, from the time he had been Charles's
servant, to a fisherman's daughter, Jane Evans, and the change in his
fortunes made no difference in the matter. She was only a fisherman's
daughter, but she was wonderfully beautiful, and gentle, and good.

The weddings took place at St. Peter's, Eaton Square. Mary and Charles
were not a handsome couple. The enthusiasm of the population was
reserved for William and Jane Evans, who certainly were.

Father Mackworth, dying after a stroke of paralysis, told us the date
and place of Peter Ravenshoe's first marriage--Finchampstead, Berks,
1778. He had known the truth, but had been anxious to keep Ravenshoe in
Catholic hands.

"You used to irritate and insult me, sir," he said, turning to Charles,
"and I was not so near death then as now. If you can forgive me, in
God's name, say so!"

Charles went over to him, and put his arm round him.

"Forgive you!" he said. "Dear Mackworth, can you forgive me?"

The register was found, and the lawyers were soon busy. One document may
be noted, a rent charge on Ravenshoe of two thousand a year in favour of
William Ravenshoe.

       *       *       *       *       *

Well, Charles and William are both happily married now, and I saw
Charles last summer playing with his eldest boy. But there was a cloud
on his face, for the memory of those few terrible months has cast its
shadow upon him, and the shadow will lie, I fancy, upon that forehead
until the forehead is smoothed in the sleep of death.







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An alternative method of locating eBooks:
     http://www.gutenberg.net/GUTINDEX.ALL